Thursday, December 10, 2009

12 Tags of Christmas Day 1

And here we are at the beginning... of course I've only done six so I've still got half a dozen tags to make - I started in the middle! And they only get more complex... but this first tag Tim posted is the most complex of all of them. It took three full hours for me to make!

This tag starts with a randomly-inked background that you rub onto the tag and wet down. Then snowflakes and swirls were stamped. The snowman is cut out, coloured and mounted on popdots with a cardboard swirl behind it, and the snowman has a scarf made from ribbon and wire. Lastly, Tim put a sentiment flag on the corner of the tag and painted glittery icicles on the top. He also painted the tag with crackle glaze, but I don't own any of that so I didn't worry about it.

I'm pretty happy with my tag. I used a plastic sleeve for my background. I stippled the ink on it and sprayed it with water. Then I pressed the tag onto it to pick up the ink. It came out really pretty! I skipped the stippling and stamped random snowflakes across the top of the tag. My snowman is stamped on white cardstock and embossed with glitter embossing powder, then I made his scarf from a ribbon with a cute pattern on it.
I was the most pleased with my swirls. I don't have any ready-made swirls, but I had the bright idea that I could make some from punchies. I've got assorted swirl and spiral punchies and I glued them together then I painted them with silver paint to cover up the fact that they were all different colours! Then I glued them onto the tag and mounted the snowman on top. I used a piece of wired ribbon for the top of the tag, and used a tiny sticker for my sentiment. And lastly I painted glue icicles at the top of the tag and I sprinkled them generously with a mixture of aqua and shimmer glitter. All in all I'm VERY pleased with this tag, even if it did take three hours!

12 Tags of Christmas Day 2

Working on down the line... Tim's tag for day two is relatively simple at first glance. He's stippled a coloured background over the top of an embossed frame (embossed with distress ink so that it's ragged-looking), but he's finished it with a gorgeous handmade metal flower and little metal page corners.

Here are his instructions.

My version of his tag is somewhat simpler. For starters I don't have anything that could approximate his flower so I didn't try. I used a sequin flower and leaf instead. And I don't have a 'frame' stamp to use, but I DO have some silver sticker frames... so I used one of them instead and embellished the tag with silver instead of gold. Stippling the background was easy... I grabbed about five different stamp pads and blended the ink on the tag with the stippling brush until I liked the way they looked. Then I stamped the greeting and put the silver frame over the top (it just fitted). And then I grabbed a paintbrush and made a hideous mess of my desk stippling the tag with silver. Paint flecks spray EVERYWHERE except where you want them to go! I ended up getting a little carried away with the paint and I made a few smears where the paint blobbed on and I had to wipe some of it off, but we'll just call them rustic accents, shall we?! As Tim Holtz tags go this one's super-simple... it only took me 30 minutes from start to finish, and if I'd had the proper tools it wouldn't have taken much longer. The next tag I attempted today took three whole hours!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12 Tags of Christmas Day 3

Tim's technique for Day 3 is plaid made with alcohol inks on glossy cardstock. The rest of the tag is simple stamping, with string wrapped around the tag and a dangling charm. The other technique he demonstrated was distressing brads with a hammer to make them look more like rivets. I'm having trouble loading his blog right now, but I'll add the link to Day 3 as soon as I can. And here's your link...

I do not have any alcohol inks and I had trouble thinking of a way to make the stripes work out... but I gave it my best shot using a striped inkpad swiped directly onto the cardstock. My glossy cardstock is the back of an old greeting card - I went through about six cards trying to make a usable plaid! If you press too lightly it doesn't work and too hard erases the first set of stripes. Either way, the result is not usable.

Here's my card. The plaid is pretty faint but if you look closely it IS there! I distressed the brads with a hammer and a removable screwdriver bit. It didn't work as well as I'd like but it's usable. At least they look older. The mini tag is a little pre-printed cardstock tag fastened with a baby-sized safetypin. My stamp was too big to use anything larger... I left the swirls off my tag for the same reason - the tree took up all the space!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12 Tags of Christmas Day 4

Still working backwards here... Tim's actual tag for Day 4 is very simple - just a basic stamped tag with ink sponged over it, and then a removable charm/brooch attached to the front. The charm is where all the work is. Tim used stamping and inking and all sorts of fancy techniques to make his including using a photo corner to make an icy roof on his little house. Its adorable but I don't have the stuff, so once I again, I used what I DID have and I went with the spirit of his tag rather than the exact detail.

Here's your requisite link to Tim's blog with all the details on how to make this adorable brooch tag.

And now on to my own tag. I took a photo of the tag with the pin removed, and one with it in place so you can see how it looks both ways.

My actual tag is extremely simple. I gathered my random christmas stamps and filled in the tag with black stamping, then I sponged ink over the top. I used a silvery-blue embellishment on the tag so I went with blue/purple ink instead of the traditional red/green. My embellishment IS removable - I tied it onto a safetypin with a blue ribbon, and pinned that safetypin through a second so that it dangles freely on the tag. To remove it just unclip the pin and pin it on your shirt. The little silver sticking out tag says 'happy holidays'. I didn't make the star with wires - it was in my embellishment box.
I had left the top of the safety pin plain but it was bugging me, so I put another star on it. The pin opens and closes from the back, and the front is more decorative. :) 

And that's three tags done today, which is definitely my limit. Time for bed and I'll see if I can get some more done tomorrow! It's challenging, but I'm having fun with this...

12 Tags of Christmas Day 5

Tim Holtz's tag for Day 5 is gorgous (aren't they all?) This one features a metal 'lace' border, a swirled background with a stamped pine branch and 3-dimensional dangling ornaments. The ornaments are individually stamped, coloured and glittered, wrapped with metal tops and strung on real wire so they can dangle freely. His magnificent tag is on the left of this paragraph.

Here is a link to his blog entry with full details on how to make it.

And now for mine... gold lace I could manage. Mine isn't metal, it's a gold lace sticker border. I don't have any plain swirl stamps (sounds like I should get one!) but I do have a swirly snowflake, and that was quite appropriate for Christmas. I wasn't sure what my gold paint would do my stamp, so I embossed the snowflakes instead... then I stippled the background the same way Tim did.

I left the top corner of my tag plain and drew the pine branch on it by hand. It's not very hard to do some random strokes of the marker to look like pine needles! Tim used a white rubon for his greeting. I tried but it wouldn't stick to the embossing and it just made a MESS, so I cut out a stamped word and glued it over the top. There's a reason I don't like rubons very much - they're really hard to use!

And then all I had to do was to make the ornaments... which is harder than it sounds! Tim used clear plastic ornament shapes and glued the stamping on the back. That wasn't an option for me... I had a cute round christmas stamp that looked like ornaments, so I stamped it in colours and embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then I put more powder over the top immediately and re-embossed it twice more to make the ornaments look more solid. I cut them out with a little rounded tab and wrapped silver sticker scraps around the top. Then I poked a hole in them and strung them onto the wire from an extra-long twist tie (I pulled the plastic off first.) And then I strung them on the tag, added a ribbon and I was done.

12 Tags of Christmas Day 6

I'm going to have to work backwards a bit here... sorry for that but I started in the middle! Today is Day 6 of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas challenge.
 This picture on the left is his gorgeous tag. Here is a link to his blog entry with full instructions on how to make it.

The primary feature in Tim's tag is the vintage car carrying a snow-covered christmas tree home on its roof. He stamped both parts onto something called grungeboard, embossed them, coloured them and cut them out, then he added snow to the christmas tree with white glittery flocking, and tied the whole lot together with twine rope.
The background on his tag is a sheet of paper from a real live dictionary and he shows you how to distress it in the blog entry. Finally he finished with some inking, a greeting, a ribbon, and a metal tag pinned onto it for good measure.

And now for my challenge. I do not have a stamp for a vintage car OR a Christmas tree. I don't have any coloured embossing powder, any metal tags, or for good measure, any of the 'flocking powder'. I don't even own any grungeboard! lol The only item that I have to use of Tims is a distress stamp pad that somebody just gave me. So how did I do?

Here's my tag and you can tell me what you think! I started by finding a vintage car jpg on the web and I sized it and printed it out. My tree is a plastic sticker, and I put cornstarch on the back so it would work popped up. I printed, coloured, cut, and wrapped it with some glittery 'rope'. Then I popped it up with foam tape the same way Tim did. It didn't occur to me that I could have flipped the clipart before I printed it, so my tag is backwards! My background is a piece of patterned paper from my stash. I skipped the distressing because it was already vintage-looking and just inked it up a little.I added a ribbon, and used a mini cardstock tag with some gold paint on it to make it look more metallic, and a gold charm to finish off. The tag says 'family traditions' which seems appropriate for collecting a christmas tree! Lastly I 'flocked' the tree - I used light dabs of glue and a sprinkling of glitter embossing powder - the heat gun would have melted the plastic sticker if I'd tried to actually emboss it!