Monday, December 27, 2010

Simon Says: Show Me Something from Yesteryear

Mother Nature dumped 20+" of snow on New York City yesterday and today, which gave me the opportunity to do nothing but work on the latest Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge

The theme is "something from yesteryear," and I had a good old time digging through my vintage images, pulling out bits of lace and netting, and giving my sewing machine a workout.

I did a collage using fabric, papers, canvas, ribbon, buttons, a little stamping, some distressing, and came up with this:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

No, this isn't a scene snapped today, though some of the white stuff is supposedly on its way here. 

I just want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas with friends and family, and to thank you for taking the time to come here and visit my blog.

Health, happiness, and creativity!  (OK, throw in some food and good music and we have it all covered!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #25

Thanks to the couple of folks who noted my absence from the blogosphere and asked how I was.  Well, I've been battling a terrible cold that has knocked me out and made me very tired and lazy.  It's hard to get creative when your workspace is a mess and you lack the energy to clean it up. 

I pushed a few things to the side (and most landed on the floor), and made myself enough room to work on CCC # 25, which is scribble stain distress.

Yes, sadly this is the cleaned up version.  But there was a tiny bit of usable space on the table.

I'm still in tag mode, so I pulled one out and opened Tim's book to see what this technique is all about.  And it turned out to be one I've never used.  That really helped me get into a creative zone, so I did my best to ignore my sneezing and sniffling, and came up with this:

I actually used the technique twice:  on the background of the tag itself, and also on the paper (plain copy paper) I used to make the rosette.

The fleur de lis in the center of the rosette was pewter colored metal which I altered with Tim's chipped enamel technique (except instead of using distress embossing powder I used one of my favorites....verdigris from Ranger's Antiquities line).  The folded "ribbon" under the rosette is tissue tape over scrap cardstock to give it more heft.

The baubles attached to the top of the tag are all handmade from beads found in my donated stash. (That would be the big box of costume jewelry given to me by friends, family, and neighbors who may not understand what I do, but are happy to help out.)

Now, if only I can muster up the needed ambition to bake the cookies I always bring to my friends for Christmas dinner........

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Dream in......white and gold

One of the very first collaborative art journals I got involved with, I Dream In Colors (IDIC for short, how clever we are), is coming to a close.  Nearly all have been completed and have either arrived back home or are nearly on their way.

For the past two days I've been working on pages for my dear friend Elena (who is also the ringleader of all these journal groups, and the magnificent host of our annual Keys4Art retreat) and I've been itching to do something in her chosen colors, white and gold.  Not until you do a project that is mainly white do you realize how many different shades of white there are.  Unless of course you work in the paint department at Home Depot.  Then I suppose you already know that.

As I'm one of the last to receive Elena's book, I've had over a year to collect items to include in my pages.  Not that I sat down with a plan.  I just gathered together everything I thought I might use and started cutting, ripping, gluing, sewing..... and here's the outcome:

The backgrounds on both pages were collaged from music sheets, dictionary pages and scrapbook papers which had all been distressed, inked, embossed and otherwise altered.  Since I knew I'd be journaling on the second page, I dry brushed some gesso over top so the text would show up better. 

I cut a bunch of flowers with Tim Holtz's tattered florals die.  I used gold tulle and white fabric with gold threads.  There is a little story behind that fabric.  It is leftover from a project I did for my BFF's wedding back in '96.  Her wedding colors were Elena's journal colors.  I like that.....adding a little bit of personal history to a journal page.

I found the face online and worked a lot on it with pastels and pencils.  The head is surrounded by some of the same die cut fabric, except for this "hair," I cut the petals apart and really tattered their edges with a distressing tool.  Although I did adhere all the fabric with fabric glue, I also went over everything with some machine stitching (not just to make sure it would all stay in place, but ever since I realized I could thread the machine, I look for excuses to use it!)

Other things in the color scheme I used:  white embossing powder and ink, gold ink, gold rub-n-buff, gold thread, white paint, white gesso, pearls, white gel pen, white and gold sharpie markers, gold ribbon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities -- No, I Didn't Forget About This Challenge

I've just been so completely obsessed with doing the Tim tags.  Luckily Linda was smart enough to make the challenges go for two weeks during the holiday season instead of the usual one, so I'm not going to break my streak.

We're up to the 24th challenge already; can you believe it?  This one involves the use of one of the best products around, rock candy distress stickles.  It dries clear, leaving just the sparkle behind.  So many applications for this, and so easy to achieve a great look.

I've done a tag (what can I say, I'm on a tag roll), and though the stickles don't show up too well in photographs, trust me, there is plenty of glimmer here:

First I inked the tag with various blues, then ran it through Tim's tall pines embossing folder.  I then inked right over the blues on the trees with just about every shade of green distress ink, and some stained walnut on the trunks.

The larger tree in the foreground is one of Tim's dies, also inked in greens and placed in front of the embossed trees.  The fence was cut from yet another Tim die and then embossed with his woodgrain folder for some authenticity.  I think I used stained walnut again plus some vintage photo on the fence.

The snow is nothing more than white acrylic paint covered with white flock while the paint was still wet.

So where are the rock candy distress stickles? 

Can you see them now?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simon Says Stamp and Show........

....a Tim Holtz technique

Oh yeah, I can do that!  The Simon Says weekly challenge couldn't be more appropriate, as all of we Holtz addicts are coming off twelve fabulous days of Tim techniques, and wondering what to do next.

One that I particularly love is called chipped enamel and it is perfect for transforming the look of any metal object.  It makes a great embellishment for a card or tag or scrapbook page, but I most like to use it to create jewelry.

I used it on a variety of Tim's idea-ology pieces....a keyhole base, three foliage items, and a hitch fastener, to make this necklace:

The distress embossing powders I used were:  antique linen on the base, shabby shutters on the leaves, faded jeans on one flower, broken china on the other (there are two, one of top of the other, which you can see better in person than in the photo), and for the flower center, the hitch fastener was embossed with mustard seed.  The fastener actually holds all the flower elements together, and I used multi medium to adhere the flower to the base. (That stuff might take a while to dry, but it is strong!)

So, the 12 Tags of Christmas marathon might be over, but I still was able to get my Tim-fix in today.   Tune in tomorrow for a little something for the Compendium of Curiosities challenge.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 12

If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.

                                                                                                                    Dr. Seuss

And the above sums up my feelings about the 12 tags.  If you haven't tried one, what are you waiting for?  Fun is good.

Before I get into today's tag, let me take a moment to announce that
I AM A WINNER!!!!  My comment on Tim's blog yesterday was one of those chosen today to receive a prize.  Color me tickled pink.  Just having the tags for inspiration is reward enough, but who doesn't love seeing their name in print (on the master's blog, no less).

I was thrilled to see that not only did Tim use movers and shapers dies today, but he even threw in a video.  I've had a few of these type dies for a while, and though I understand the concept of how they work, I don't think I ever knew all they could do until today.  So, another big thank you to Tim.

Another great technique was the coloring of grunge with ink direct from the pad and then painting over it with rock candy distress crackle.  Awesome!  Very hard, shiny, glass-like finish.  (NOTE:  Tim used grungeboard to cut his ornament.  I used grungepaper.  It worked out OK, but it dried totally wonky and I had to flatten it out under some heavy books.  Just wanted to let you know in case you use grungepaper too.)

Of course, I changed up some things on my tag.  Click here to visit Tim's blog and see the gorgeous ones (yep, he went ahead and did more than one tag today) he did.

I did use the same ornament and word insert as Tim, but instead of red, I did the ink/crackle technique in green (pine needles).  And I added some beads to the tip because....beads are fun. And fun is good.  I chose a different background paper from the seasonal stack.  I auditioned several by holding the ornament over them, and the word joy showed up best over the music.

Instead of the December calendar Tim put on the bottom, I went with some tickets.  The one on the top is a stamp; the ones under it are salvage stickers.  All were distressed on the edges and inked with walnut stain.  I held them together with a hinge clip, which was fastened to the tag with a brad.  Tim put some tiny acorns over the calendar.  I tried that, didn't like the way they looked with my tickets.  Then I remembered (now, why couldn't I recall this on the days when Tim used tinsel???) that I had a wee bit of vintage tinsel from my recent Absolutely Everything order.  I snipped off a little and I think it works well peeking out from behind the tickets.

Any other differences?  Well, instead of using a hook made from wire for the top of the ornament (my wire isn't very thick and the hook I made just looked flimsy to me), I used that swirly embellishment that just happened to be on my work table.

For my Wendified tag, I concentrated on the techniques and came up with this un-Christmas piece (which photographed a little out of focus):

I used the baroque movers and shapers die, and a heart insert I had (not a Tim product).  Behind the heart is a Wendy saying, stamped over a Wendy background.  I glued some red ball chain around the heart and love the way that looks.

The flower is grungepaper cut from Tim's tattered florals die and inked with worn lipstick and pumice stone then stamped with a variety of Wendy's backgrounds.

Hanging from the ribbon are a bunch of danglies I made.  Speaking of which.....I never buy beads any more (unless I'm in a store and fall in love); I've just put the word out to friends, family, and neighbors that they should direct all their old, unwanted, broken and even ugly costume jewelry to me.  There is always at least one element, often more, on each piece that I can salvage and use.  Every bead in the danglies I made came from such donations.

So, what do you think I'll do tomorrow morning?  Find another project immediately, or go through Tim-tag withdrawal? 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 11

I conked out early last night, and consequently was wide awake before 5am this morning.  Grabbed a cup of coffee, headed to Tim's blog, and once again, was rewarded with a great technique ..... cutting custom stamps with dies, using ..... are you ready for this ..... fun foam!

One minor problem.  After a thorough search, not a bit of the foam in my possession.  I found some foam-like substance that was part of some packing material, but it was way too thick for the dies to cut.  Now, I'm not close enough to a store to buy some, and I certainly lack the patience to order it and wait.  I've made 10 tags on the days Tim published his, and today would be no exception.

I went to the one place that often provides me with very satisfactory crafting solutions ..... my kitchen.

This is what I found in the under-the-sink cabinet:

I love this product for cleaning, but would it work for stamp making?  It's not quite as wide as Tim's on the edge dies, and on the thick side, but I thought it might work.  First I sliced it into two pieces as though cutting bread (thinking it was too thick as is).  The serrated knife glided through it like butta!  I followed Tim's directions from this point, and created these two stamps, one for my Tim tag, the other for my Wendy version:

So far, so good.  But would they take the embossing ink?  Would they stamp a clear image?  A great big resounding YES on both counts!  I'm not one to brag, but c' this a solution or what?  I'm not claiming that these stamps will last as long as the ones made from fun foam (which I sure intend to get), but they allowed me to complete my day 11 tags on day 11.  Which is all I wanted.

Here is my first tag:

I used my new snowflake on-the-edge stamp on the side, just as Tim did. (As I mentioned before, my stamp isn't long enough to cover the entire length of the tag, but I was able to reink part of it and continue the line of snowflakes seamlessly.) 

Instead of cutting the pine tree die that Tim used (from grungeboard), I used the branch tree instead.  Inked it with stained walnut and vintage photo and embossed with stained walnut distress embossing powder.  I don't have sparkly fluff, so I used white flock for the snow covered branches.   Pretty much everything else is according to Tim's directions, just in my own color choices.

This is the Wendified tag I made next:

I discovered that the crucial part of one of Wendy's stamps fit perfectly on the paper that goes behind the ornate plate.  All you have to do to use only part of a stamp is mask off the unwanted parts with tape, ink, remove the tape and stamp.  I even had a little room on the side for Wendy's small dandelion.

No need for a snow covered tree on this tag.  I used Tim's fanciful flight die and arranged it so you just see a profile of the butterfly.  The bottom layer was inked with wild honey and rusty hinge, then over stamped with one of Wendy's backgrounds.  The top layer (with the cutouts) was inked with faded jeans and broken china and then embossed with broken faded jeans distress embossing powder.  And keeping with all of Tim's techniques, I covered the head (is that what it is???) of the butterfly with brown flock.

I added one of Wendy's butterflies to finish it off, and created the antennae with some wire and two small beads.

Eleven days of wonderful tags, lots of inspiration and a whole bunch of fun.  Thanks, Tim!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 10

I know you've heard this from me before, but I LOVE today's tag.  It may be my favorite one so far.  (Subject to change upon viewing tomorrow's tag.)

The major technique is cutting a tag shape from scrap plastic and then embossing it.  That piece is put on top of the actual tag and it is such a wonderful look.  For Christmas, using the snowflakes folder and with the snowman underneath, it is almost magical.

Tim cut his snowman from grungeboard using his snowman die.  I don't have that (hard to believe, but I really don't own everything Tim has ever created).  Here's how I adapted:

I do have the snowman stamp, and what I did was use a light colored marker to go around the outline of it only (not touching the snowflake decoration on the body), stamping it on grungeboard and cutting it out.   The stamp doesn't have quite the same arms, so I cut those out freehand.  After that, I just followed Tim's directions on painting, distressing and assembling the snowman.  Since the stamp is much smaller than the die, I made a further adjustment so the snowman wouldn't look lost on the tag.  Instead of stamping the sentiment ON the snowman, I did it separately and placed it underneath.

I think my favorite part is the way the scarf comes out from behind the plastic. 

For my Wendified version, I once again used that flower/pumpkin stamp to create two ornaments and glitzed them up with stickles. 

The "strings" from which they hang were done with gold embossing powder, after drawing them with a versamark pen.  Danglies on the bottom and little bows on the top finish off the ornaments.

Instead of the snowflake embossing folder, I used a Cuttlebug one called Victoria.  It felt much more Wendy to me.  I also substituted
Stampin' Up's glimmer brads in black for the regular brad and washer that Tim used (and that I also used on the first tag) as a way to put the two pieces together.

Now, aren't you glad you've been saving your plastic packaging material?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 9

BEAUTIFUL tag today from Tim!  And I got to make rosettes!  I'm much happier with today's efforts.  Although, I have to say, the more I look at my day 8 tags, the more I like them.  Sigh....all that whining for nothing.  (I'm sorry about that!)

Besides the rosette, today's techniques included a background with distress inks and Perfect Pearl Mists, and smashing brads with the texture hammer (which I didn't do).  Tim's tag is gorgeous in browns; mine is also monochromatic, but done in greens.  (And my Wendy version is mostly blue).

So, here is mine (not the clearest photo I've ever taken, but you'll get the idea):

I used the same Christmas Carol stamp on the background (in black archival ink), then bundled sage, peeled paint, and pine needles distress inks with a spray of heirloom gold mist on top of that.  I have a different alphabet than the one Tim used, and the letters (dark green Core'dinations paper) are a bit larger, so there wasn't much room for the embellishments.  I used my own buttons and made my own baubles.

Tim put tinsel around the rosette, which I don't have, so I used some eyelash yarn from my knitting stash.  And instead of the brads on the bottom, I used some half pearls.

My Wendified version:

I used one of Wendy's stamps instead of the music one (with coffee archival ink) for the background.  Over that, broken china, stormy sky and faded jeans distress inks and the spray was blue smoke. 

Another difference was I took my paper for the rosette from the vintage shabby stack instead of the seasonal stack.  No tinsel, as I said, but I found some sparkly blue stuff and used that.  Again, I used my own buttons and made my own baubles.  On the bottom, a row of rhinestones instead of the beaten up brads. (I guess I just didn't feel the need to pound anything today.)   The letters were cut from a periwinkle Core'dinations paper in the whitewashed stack.  If I had anything to do over, it would be the color of the letters.  Not enough contrast with the background.  Other than that, I'm good with this tag too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 8

Masks And Wire

No, not part of a robber's kit or a bondage outfit, but two of the cool techniques in Tim's day #8 tag.  This was a challenging tag for me to make.  While I loved the one Tim did, I'm less than thrilled with the two I came up with.  Part of it might be my stubborn determination not to copy; the mask Tim used is just perfect in size and shape for the tag.  Well, it is what it is, and I learned new techniques, so what am I complaining about?

Tim used the outside of his santa sleigh mask (the part we usually discard) as a stencil, positioning it on the tag and inking it and stamping over it.  I cut my own mask from the pine tree die instead, working vertically on the tag instead of horizontally.  I added some extra trees with a Stampin' Up stamp (one of my favorites, BTW).  Love the technique, not wild about my execution.  I think I should have positioned it lower on the tag and eliminated the trunk.  Also, my stamping over the stencil was a bit sloppy imperfect. (I'm embracing my imperfection, honestly, I am!)

I didn't have the distress stickles that Tim used to give the look of snow on the rooftops, so I substituted a regular stickles called stardust.  Not quite as effective and it took forever to dry. 

Also loved using wire to create the look of smoke coming out of the chimneys.  I didn't have the same gauge wire Tim used, and I would have liked to have the thicker wire.

I also like using my retro Dymo label maker to create the look of a banner, and that's a technique I'll use again for sure.

The last technique Tim used was dabbing metal with white paint, then rubbing it with a finger tip for a nice shabby look.  Tim's metal pieces included corners, a clock face and a spinner.  Because of my tag's orientation I really had no place for the corners, and though I tried a clock face on mine, I didn't care for it.  I opted for a grommet with a brad that fit inside the hole, trying for the look of the moon in the sky.  Hey, I said trying, not succeeding, LOL.

And now, my Wendy version:

I think this one works a little better, but I guess I just have to admit that today's attempts are not my favorites. 

This one obviously doesn't have a Christmas theme.  I started by making a mask from the Sizzix lovebird die.  After inking the stencil part of it on the tag with different shades of green, I over stamped with one of Wendy's stamps, using olive archival ink. The leaves in the background (done with coffee archival ink) are also from a Wendy stamp.   Since I opted not to use the townscape on the bottom, instead of using wire for smoke, I used it for tail feathers, pretty much following the curves of the tail on the die.  Again, I wish I had thicker wire for this technique.

My whitewashed metal includes corners (smaller ones than Tim's), a funky little piece I had in my stash that fit perfectly on the bird's head, a tiny brad for the eye, and a larger brad which is keeping all the wires in place.

Instead of a Christmas sentiment, my label has one of Wendy's favorite sayings, make art every day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 7

A Tale of Two Sticky Back Canvas Flowers

The focal point of Tim's Day 7 tag is a very beautiful poinsettia that he made from Claudine Hellmuth's sticky back canvas.  Beautiful AND labor intensive.  Made even more so for me by a broken hot glue gun.  Oh, this would have gone so much faster with that tool.  But enough whining.
The real star of this tag, though, for me, technique junkie that I am, is what Tim did with his embossing folder.  He inked the folder itself (the side that would be considered the bottom or back), placed the tag in face down and embossed.  What happens is, the color of the ink winds up in the debossed areas instead of the raised areas.  So then you can swipe some color on those parts without affecting the first color.   Clear as mud?   Please visit Tim's blog for the details.  (Actually there is a YouTube video on Tim's blog post from yesterday that explains this technique).

I did make the poinsettia for my Tim tag; I couldn't resist.  There will be something else, however, on my Wendy tag. (If this is your first visit, here, well WELCOME, and to explain, some of we Wendy Vecchi fans are attempting to not only do a Tim tag each day, but also using Tim's techniques as a jumping off point, we're creating tags using the stamps and style of  Wendy ).
So, here is my version:

Tim used his woodgrain folder.  I chose a Cuttlebug folder called holly ribbons.  I inked it with fired brick, which created the red background, and after embossing, used the blending tool to get the pine needles on the raised areas.  Pretty cool, huh?

Tim applied rock candy distress stickles all over his embossed background.  That's great to do when you want to blend the colors you've used, as the stickles will reactivate the inks and move them around.  Not such a good idea if you want to keep the colors separate, as I did, so I eliminated that step.

As I complained mentioned before, no hot glue gun, so I used glossy accents to adhere my poinsettia leaves.  It works, of course, but not nearly as quickly and efficiently as hot glue would have.  I also wound up positioning the flower a bit too high on the tag, so instead of attaching anything to the top, I hung my type charm from a little length of chain in the middle. 

The grungeboard word I  used is different, and I colored my flourishes differently as well. 

My opinion:  the poinsettia is a little cock-eyed but all in all, I'm happy with the tag.

My Wendy version:

Yikes!  My color is a little off.  The word JOY sure looks purple.  It isn't.  It was inked with aged mahogany, so it's really a reddish brown.

The embossing folder I chose here is from Stampin' Up and is called petals-a-plenty.  I've always liked this folder for Christmas projects;  though I'm sure it wasn't meant to be a holiday folder, to me, the flowers resemble little poinsettias, especially if colored the right way.   I inked the folder with worn lipstick, then after embossing, applied peeled paint to the raised areas.

Tim's tattered florals die was used again, but instead of making a poinsettia (once was really enough without a working hot glue gun), I stamped the pieces with some of Wendy's background stamps, curled the petals and put them all together to create the flower (and I used the leftover flower from the Tim tag).
Wendy's stamps were also used on the leaves and flourishes.

Seven down, five to go.  And enough new techniques to last for a good long time.  Thanks,Tim!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 6

Day 6!! Oh no, we're halfway through.  What am I going to do with myself on December 13?  Well, I'll worry about that later.  It's funny, but for the last 20+ weeks, I've looked forward to Monday mornings when Linda posts the new Compendium of Curiosities challenge.   I've been so totally obsessed with the 12 Tags, this morning I completely forgot about the CCC.  Unheard of!  LOL....I'll bet I'm not the only one.   No fears, Linda....I'm working on that too.

Today was the first day that I really really wanted to just copy Tim's tag.  It's that good.  And another technique-rich one.  But, I controlled myself and went my own way. (and I really still want to copy it!)

Tim demonstrated stamping on the blank side of an embossing folder (he used the Tall Pines which only has images on the left), and then inserting the tag and running it through the machine.  I'd smeared ink on the inside of a folder before, but never thought of stamping.  Another brilliant idea from the master.  He also showed us how to make a little banner out of pleated tissue tape.   Here's what I came up with:

I also used the Tall Pines folder, but instead of the reindeer (oh, so adorable!  I don't have the die but I do have a grungeboard reindeer from a seasonal grunge set....and I didn't succumb to temptation and use it!) I used the Branch Tree.  I have a forest thing going on here.  Tim stamped flourishes on his folder; I stamped snowflakes.  I did use the splatter stamp to add the gold flecks.  Awesome look.

The tree was embossed with the snowflake folder then painted with espresso.  When dry it was sanded (quite an upper arm workout) then inked with weathered wood.  I like the blue/brown combo, even though the photo makes the tree look more black than brown. 

First major goof of the day:  I glued the tree down with glossy accents and then realized I hadn't done the tissue tape banner.  Note to Ranger:  GA is a really really strong adhesive.  I did manage to pry the bottom of the tree up enough to attach the banner, but to tell you the truth, I don't think I should have bothered.  Not enough of it shows in my opinion.

Anyway, Tim hung a little wreath around his reindeer's neck.  I didn't want a wreath on my tree.  Also, Tim had a sentiment on a journaling ticket on the bottom left.  My tree is so wide I didn't have much room for that, plus it would have hid even more of the banner.  So I opted for making my sentiment a sign, hung from the tree with chain.  I like that.

The only other thing I want to mention is the green you see in the star charm and word stick.  I pressed some paint into the crevices and  then wiped all the excess off.  That's another Tim technique from I don't remember when.

And now, here's how I Wendy-fied the tag:

There aren't that many embossing folders around that have big blank spaces.  I didn't want to use the Tall Pines again, or the two other Tim folders with empty areas (Branch Tree and Snowman), so I picked this beautiful one of bamboo from Cuttlebug.  I stamped Wendy's dandelions (both sizes) on it in walnut stain.

The two butterflies are grungeboard from the nature set, and both were embossed with Tim's Regal Flourishes folder.  Then painted, sanded, inked with vintage photo.  Nothing hanging from anything here, just some rhinestones on the butterflies.  Instead of a sign, I made a little bookplate and put it under the ribbon.  The words "Make Art" (Wendy's mantra) are from one of her stamps.

I really like the way the tissue tape banner looks on this tag (much more than on the first).  I also colored it slightly with faded jeans and chipped sapphire.

Yesterday's tag was my favorite....until today.  Wonder if this one will get upstaged by tomorrow's?????

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas -- Day 5 (And Something In the Mail)

(I have settled my blog problems -- not Blogger's fault; sorry to have accused it of going nuts and sorry to have cursed at it all day yesterday.  It was Windows' fault!  And now all is good again.)

I loved doing today's tags because two of my favorite techniques were involved.  One, an old favorite, the other new to me and I'm in love with it!

First, my Tim-inspired tag.  I pretty much used all the techniques that he did, but my layout is somewhat different, and I chose a different stamp and color scheme. 

Tim showed us how to get the look of old porcelain on metal letters.  I wanted to continue the snow theme so instead of using the letters, I cut some snowflakes from thin metal and applied that technique to them.

The other cool one was using distress embossing powder on metal.  Tim made a flower on his tag.  Again, wanting to stick to my theme, I used weathered wood on foliage pieces, but put them in the center of my snowflakes so they appear to be part of them.  I think it works.  Of course for specifics, go to Tim's blog (which I find hard to believe you haven't already done.)

I had an immediate brainstorm when it came to my Wendyized tag.  This just tickles me to no end.

Before I inked the art chick I masked off the top part of her head with tape.  (When you do something like that, you have to remember to remove the tape before stamping.  Otherwise it is very very ugly.)  The Santa hat is a stamp I got ages ago from I Brake For Stamps, and holding my breath and squinting a lot, I managed to position it correctly, so it all looks like one stamp.  (OK, I admit to being very impressed with myself on this one.  I stand, I take a bow.)   I painted the brim and pom pom white, and while still wet, applied some white fluff.

The sprigs of berries are actually just branches from the tree on Wendy's Mail Art set.  I used forest moss ink and then put dots of red stickles on the berries.

I thought the metal numerals Tim used would be too large for my piece so I used the stencil type instead, and I do feel the proportion is better.

For my embossed foliage, I used four of the pieces with 2 leaves to make what I like to think looks like a poinsettia.  I embossed them with peeled paint first, then re-embossed the tips only with barn door.  I put a small flower, embossed with peeled paint, in the center and held the whole thing together with a brad, which was also embossed.

I didn't think a sentiment was necessary (and there didn't seem to be any room for one), so I left it out, along with the stylized label and the crackle paint.

Oh, and now that uploading photos is not the impossible chore it was yesterday, I want to show you all what came in the mail Friday.  The box of goodies I won on Wendy's blog, just for leaving a comment (and having the good fortune of having it selected randomly).

I opened the box and looked inside:


Yep, a very good week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas -- Day 4

My Tim-Inspired Tag:

My Wendy-Inspired Tag:

The focal points and main technique on today's tag are the charms. Tim used his facets to create them. I looked for where in sight. I looked again. And again. I finally decided to create mine with fragment charms, but still felt certain I'd bought at least one package of facets. Could I possibly have neglected to do so?
The first technique involves alcohol inks and archival ink and a disappearing trick. You'll just have to visit Tim's blog to get those details. I used that one on the round red charm. The pine needles appear green against the red alcohol ink because the fragment is glued to green paper.
The snowflakes on the blue oval charm were also done with that technique, though the flakes don't show up as clearly as I'd like.
Tim also showed us how to create a sparkly charm by applying silver stickles to a facet as a sort of frame, filling in the rest with glossy accents, then pressing it into a stamped image. My snowman charm was done that way. As was the large square charm on the Wendy tag. You can't see it, but I did use a Wendy stamp on that one, but there just wasn't enough contrast between the paper and the ink for it to show up. I fixed that problem with the addition of some rub-ons. Not exactly Tim's method, but I thought it was a good save.
I did a hybrid of the sparkly technique and the glue-the-facet-to-an-image technique on the smaller charm on the Wendy tag. Before applying the fragment to the image (from Tim's seasonal paper stack), I added the silver stickles.

Just so you know, I'm still having issues with Blogger. Or, it may be my computer. I don't know enough to know which. But, that is the reason I didn't provide links to Tim's or Wendy's blogs......I wasn't allowed to!
Oh, and one more thing.......after I finished and was putting things away, I found my facets. Yep. There they were. Right in front of me. Sigh.....a mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas - Day 3

My Tim-inspired tag:

My Wendy-inspired tag:

Unless you've been busy orbiting earth, you know that Tim Holtz has once again made all Timoholics happy with his 12 Tags of Christmas. As usual, I'm following along, but this year I've made it my goal to be inspired by Tim, but do my own thing.
Another twist this year, is that some of us are doing the tags using more of Wendy Vecchi's stamps and/or style. I'm doing both. So really, I should be calling this the 24 Tags of Christmas. But Tim tag today isn't even a Christmas tag. How that tag came to be is a question for another time. All I know is, I was browsing through my binder(s) of Tim's stamps, looking for something to use other than the tree he chose, and as soon as I saw the hand, something clicked. Why a tree stamped sideways inspired me to use a hand is beyond me. Any analysts out there care to venture a guess? Hah!
For both tags I used the background technique Tim used. As for the bird.....same technique on the Tim tag. For the Wendy tag, I went with ink and one of her background stamps instead of the tissue tape collage technique.
On both tags, instead of using a Christmas salvage sticker on the memo pin, I just created words with letters from the original salvage sticker book.
On the Tim tag, I colored the tissue tape flower with Perfect Pearls mist and put a brad in the center. On the Wendy tag, I used stickles on the flower and put a Jenni Bowlin chipboard button in the center (with Tim's Tiny Attacher.....I love how the staple is just the right size to go in both holes at once.)
Other big difference....Tim used white paint on his splatter stamp around the edges. On my Tim tag I did use that stamp, but instead of white paint, I used a very pale blue/green. For the Wendy tag, I didn't use the splatter stamp at all. I used the little dandelion stamp from the Botanical Art set, dabbing white paint on the flower heads only. Call me crazy, but I think they look a lot like snowflakes.
Just so you know, Blogger has been giving me fits all afternoon. I couldn't create links or insert pictures until I changed my settings back to their old editor. Which I hate. But at least I was able to blog. I hope. I haven't clicked on "publish post" yet. LOL!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas - Day 2

Before I get into today's tag, can I just say that this has been one remarkable week?  Well, this is MY blog, so why am I asking your permission?  IT'S BEEN ONE REMARKABLE WEEK!!!!

First, I won something on Wendy's blog just for leaving a comment.
Then, last night I managed to win something by being the first to respond to one of Mario's tweets.  Me.....winning with a tweet?  Insane!  Totally dumb luck, as I'm not exactly the techno queen around here.  Something else pretty cool happened Vagabond arrived!  And wouldn't you know's tag does not require any cutting or embossing.  LOL!  (Oh, and I guess I'll mention that tomorrow is my birthday.  What a way to start the celebrating!)

OK, enough about me and my good fortune.  On to the tag.....Tim's main technique today is to create your own custom stamp pad with cut-n-dry felt. (Click HERE to see Tim's tag on his blog.) Scratch that.  I have none.  I do have a sponge product that I scored at last year's Ranger warehouse sale, but I think it must be meant to be used with something other than distress reinkers, because I tried it and.....well, let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight.  Back to the drawing board.

After several false starts and discarded tags, here is what I managed to come up with:

I stamped the Santa image with brown archival ink, then did some coloring with gel pens.  When that was dry I covered the whole image with embossing ink, using a perfect medium brush pen.  Then I covered it with clear embossing powder and heat set it.  Tim is would have been easier with the custom pad.  But, we make do with what we have and then create a wish list.

The background colors are weathered wood, stormy sky, and pumice stone.  The script was stamped with pumice stone and the snowflakes with stormy sky.  Barn door and aged mahogony were used on the sentiment.

Tim added a bauble to his tag, and his bird accoutrement.  I tried a few options and they all looked busy to me on my tag.  I finally decided to scratch the bauble and use a small snowflake charm.

If you look at Tim's tag, he used black enamel accents to add dots to the letters of his greeting.  I didn't think black would work on mine, so I used some white enamel accents and hated the dots so much I swiped them off immediately.  If you look closely, you can see remnants, but that just adds to the vintage look. (At least that's what I'm telling myself.)

Now on to my Wendy-inspired version of today's tag....which I actually like quite a bit better than the one I just showed you.

Background colors started out with the same blues I used on the first tag, but eventually peeled paint and forest moss changed all that to green.    The word believe is from the Just Word Art set.

The script in the background (done with frayed burlap) is from Wendy's Botanical Art set. There is a flower in that set which I think looks like a poinsettia when you stamp it twice, side by side, bottoms facing each other, slightly overlapping.  That's what you see in the background, in worn lipstick. 

As for the focal point.....the ornament.  It is actually the cool round pumpkin-like flower from Wendy's Lower Case Art set.  I stamped it with embossing ink on grungepaper, covered it with black embossing powder and heat set it.  I did this twice, and cut them out.  Then I used barn door ink and a blending tool on part of each one, and did the clear embossing powder/heat set thing.  When cool, I finished coloring with peeled paint and repeated the embossing, heating. 

You can't tell from the photo, but the ornament is dimensional.  I cut away the outside sections of one of the flowers, and stapled it to the full flower, folded it in half so it pops up a bit.  I covered the staples with black ribbon.

On this tag, one of Tim's baubles looked just right, at least where I put it.  I didn't bother trying any enamel accent dots....learned my lesson on tag 1!

Now I'm off to play with the Vagabond!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 1

I admit it...I'm a complete dork when it comes to Tim.  I was sound asleep on the couch, the TV watching me, and at 3am on the dot I awoke without an alarm clock or any disturbances outside my door.  Why?  Because that's when Tim would be posting the first tag in his annual 12 Tags of Christmas event.

What can I say?  I love that man's style and techniques, and look forward to this event all year long.
Tim started off with a bang.  He used A LOT of techniques and materials in this tag.  Click HERE to go to his blog to see what he created......fantastic!

I am determined not to just copy Tim this year, even if I have every item he uses.  Well, not a problem today, as I do not own his Rickety House die.  I always thought of it as a Halloween embellishment, and that isn't my favorite holiday.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  Tim shows how he uses it for Christmas, and even for a beachy, summery piece.  The man is a creative superstar!

And I should mention now.....I did not one, but two tags.  Some of the crafty folks at Everything Wendy Vecchi decided that they'd make tags this year using Wendy's stamps and/or in Wendy's style.  I decided I'd try to do tags each day both ways.  Pretty ambitious, but hey, I'm retired, what else is so pressing that I can't devote an entire day to making tags?

Well, I think 5 paragraphs without one picture is more than enough, so here is my Tim-inspired tag:

Tim's focal point was the rickety house, and he put his fence in front of it.  I kind of combined the two, and instead of having the house as the main image, I went with trees.  The houses on the bottom (the Townscape die) take the place of the fence. (And I did manage to find some mica chips in my stash for the windows).

The pine trees were made by running the entire tag (after it was colored with various blue inks) through the Tall Pines embossing folder.  Tim has a die of the bare branch tree (I don't....yet), but I do have the embossing folder.  So I used it on a piece of grungepaper, inked it, and cut it out.  (The die would be MUCH easier).

I did use Tim's technique for creating the snow.  I don't have sparkly fluff, so I just mixed some plain white fluff with glitter.

The very tiny wreath was made from some moss which I shredded and glued on a really tiny circle.  I'm grateful I have the Ranger scrubbie, because my fingers were just a giant mess of ink, paint, and glue.

While that tag was drying, I got to work on my Wendy-inspired one. 

The background on this one is pretty much the same as on the first.  Instead of snowflakes, I stamped some trees.  Here's how I made the houses:   the first one was pieced together from bits of grungeboard and chipboard.  The roof was "shingled" with little rectangles of inked manila paper.  The house itself was run through the Notebook embossing folder, first in one direction, then the other, just for some texture.

The next house is part of a stamp from Wendy's "Homemade Art" set .  It was inked with mustard seed and then overstamped with one of her background stamps.  I added the chipboard piece on top of the roof, and used a marker to ink in a door.

The last house is just pieced together from bits of grungeboard.  A rectangle was embossed with the Bricked folder, then inked with aged mahogony, black soot, and vintage photo.  The roof is a triangle, inked with rusty hinge, then stamped with another of Wendy's background stamps (in black archival ink).

I changed the way I did the snow.  For no particular reason...just to experiment.  I created it with white enamel accents, and while it was still wet, sprinkled it with white glitter.

The little pine cones and berries are left over from the stash of miniatures I bought to make Christmas configurations.  The sentiment is a stamp from "Homemade Art."

I don't know if I'll be able to do two tags each day, but I'm sure gonna try.   Are you following along with Tim this year?