Friday, December 31, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Christmas Leftovers/Compendium of Curiosities #25/Simon Says - Yesteryear

After having so much fun making my chunky 'Tim' tags, I couldn't stop! I think I might be a little addicted to them, to be honest. I created this tag for the Tag Tuesday 'Christmas Leftovers' challenge, as well as the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge,  and also as a gift for my good friend, Becky (who had better not be reading this!). It also fits the Simon Says Stamp & Show Yesteryear challenge. Whew!

This is the first time I've joined in with the Compendium of Curiosities's one of those things I kept meaning to do, but never quite got my act together. The current challenge - Scribble Stain Distress - was such an easy technique, I had no excuse not to try it! Very hard to see any squiggles, they got mostly covered up. I also added a little spritz of red Perfect Pearls mist that you can kind of see in the pic above. Very pretty IRL!

It's not a big feature of my tag, but the little piece of satin ribbon along the bottom is my leftover from Christmas. It started out as a larger piece of ribbon that I saved from a gift I'd received. I dyed it to match my tag using brown and red Distress inks. I heated it just a bit, which gave it that little gathered look.

I was really excited to use my new Steampunk stamps from Oxford Impressions on this tag. They are so cool! The buttons were made by stamping onto Grungeboard, trimming, and then inking with brown Distress ink. I added Rock Candy crackle paint to the top (kind of hard to see). I love how they came out!

The frame is the sample from the technique I first showed here. The sentiment was computer-generated. I always think Happy Birthday sounds so much better in French! :-) The woman is a photo image rubber stamp from the Beloved collection, also from Oxford Impressions. The flourish on the left is from Tim Holtz.

As with my 12 Tags of Christmas, this is mounted on a piece of 1x4 pine that was cut to size and covered with vintage French book pages. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be safe tonight (I'll be glued to the Weather Channel, hoping to avoid tornadoes!) and have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tag Tuesday/Tim's Tag - Day 12

It took me an extra week or so, but I finally finished the last tag of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. Woo hoo! I have had a great time creating these tags - I can't thank Tim enough for sharing all of his wonderful techniques and inspiration with us all.

In creating the Day 12 tag, I discovered a pretty cool technique! I don't have Tim's ornament die, so I knew I would have to substitute something for that. After seeing that the Tag Tuesday theme was Silver or Gold, I decided that I would use the bird and cage and try a little experiment. My friend, Candice, had taught a project at our local stamp club using this die (I don't own it...yet) and had given me a couple extra birds. I traced one onto Grunge paper and finished it as Tim shows (except I didn't use enough Rock Candy crackle paint!). The cage was also from Candice and had been cut from cardstock.

I wanted my birdcage to look like real metal, so I embossed first with silver embossing powder. After that, I added some clear UTEE and embossed that. The reaction between the two powders revealed the color underneath (kind of bronze-ish). Very cool! After it cooled I covered it with black acrylic paint - just like my frames - and then wiped it off. The resulting finish looks just like tarnished silver. Oooooohhh...I love it! I had been on the fence about getting the bird and cage die, now I am definitely convinced that I NEED it! How awesome would this be as an ornament?

If anyone is interested in a tutorial - let me know! I just need to get that die or have someone cut me a few birds + cages.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Theme Thursday/Tim's Tag #11

Another day, another tag that took me way too long to make. The fun part of this one was making your own stamps out of fun foam. I don't have any edge dies, but I did think the gears die might be kind of interesting. Not very Christmas-y, but very Steampunky! I have been dying to use this bird from Oxford Impression's Steampunk Works collection.....I felt a plan coming together.

Quick tut! I always drool over Tim's metal frames, but at over $1 each, I just can't bring myself to buy them yet. I did want the look of his tag though, so I decided to make my own. (I apologize for the quality of my pics - they were taken with my phone.)

First, emboss a frame (mine is from Innovative Stamp Creations) on Grungepaper or Grungeboard using Versamark and silver embossing powder. I used Ranger Silver ep. When cool, trim closely as shown.

Cover entire piece with black acrylic paint. One of Tim's dabbers would be great for this. I don't have one in black, so I used a Hillbilly Dabber: cosmetic sponge and Walmart paint. Immediately wipe off with a tissue. You may have to dampen it if the paint has dried too much. If the embossing looks dull, try heating it again, just until you see the shine come back.

Here's your completed frame! Now, use your sharpest scissors to cut out the center and you're set. Not quite as cool as store-bought, but definitely metal framey looking. :-)

As I was looking through my stamps, fixing to put the frame away, I came across another frame and loved it even more! Again, from ISC. The sentiment I used is the last part of a quote from one of Tim's acrylic stamp sets. I adhered the frame to my tag with foam squares, so it looked more 3-d.

Another quick tip - I didn't have the thick fun foam like Tim used, so I die cut two pieces of the thinner foam and glued them together. When I went to cut out one more, I used only one piece and it worked fine too! For my background, I ended up doing a version of the Faux Designer Paper technique from the Technique Junkie newsletter. I didn't like the thickness and shininess of the clear embossing, so I ironed it off and stamped various images from Oxford Impressions and Tim Holtz.

My bird was stamped on Grungepaper using black ink and then sponged with brown Distress ink. I stamped the wing portion again, cut it out, inked it, and adhered it to the bird. A few clock bits and metal do dads and I was done. I'm kind of glad this isn't a Christmas-themed tag - I can display it year round!

Theme Thursday - Tags
Arty Jen's T!m Splinter Group

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Stamper/Tim's Tag - Day 10

After a week or so of not working on my tags, I decided I really wanted to finish them. So, today I chose to ignore everything I should be doing and just do what I wanted to do - very selfish, I know!

Ironically, this was not one of my favorite tags but, after working on it, I totally fell in love with it. I didn't have the snowman (plus, I'm just not a snowman girl), but I thought the Grungeboard bird would be a good substitute. Unfortunately, I had used the bird from my sheet, but I still had the sheet with the cutout of the bird. So, I traced it onto a piece of tag board and proceeded as Tim instructed.

I didn't have the washers that Tim used and I struggled to think of a substitute. I tried punching a disc out of metal and then punching another hole in it, but the size wasn't right. I thought and thought.....what did I have that would easily cut a disc that small??? You'll never guess what I used. Seriously. Try. Give up? I used the Gadget Gears die! The center of the top gear makes the perfect sized 'washer' blank. I used more of the metal my friend Ronnie gave me - I scuffed it a little and then lightly sponged it with black Stazon ink. I also sanded shiny silver brads and inked them to match.

When I first looked at Tim's tag, I thought he'd added snow to the bottom. It ended up that it was just for the picture, but I decided I NEEDED that snow on mine! I had some dollar store snow I'd bought ages ago (honestly, I think this is the same material as the fluffy stuff that probably costs 100 times more), so I squirted a bunch of Glossy Accents around the bottom and pressed it on. Loved it!

I made one more addition to my tag - I'd seen that the Wednesday Stamper theme was 'Snowflakes' and I was like, aha! That's exactly what this tag needs. After creating my background (by the way, I ended up cutting a white tag...I don't see how Tim gets the clear blues on a manila tag, mine always gets muddy!) I stamped a snowflake from Oxford Impressions using white acrylic paint. I think it gives it the perfect touch!

BTW, did you know that Lin is giving away an awesome prize package? Go check out her blog and enter!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 8 & 9

I finally finished Day 8 and Day 9 of Tim's fantastic tags. Still two behind, though! I'm hoping to catch up tomorrow. I will be sorry not to have them to look forward to each day, but also a bit relieved. Keeping up with Tim is hard work!

I don't have a lot to say about Tag #8. I didn't have the stencil, so I googled it and found an image that was remarkably close to the real thing. I printed out on a transparency and, after thickening the lines a bit with a Sharpie, it was ready to cut. I made my own clock by embossing a pocket watch stamp and sponging it with white. All stamps, except for the flourish, are by Oxford Impressions.

Now this tag, this tag blew my mind! It was the closest one to my style of them all. What's funny is that it was probably harder for me than most. Not sure why!

 My first struggle was the rosette - did I have the die? Of course not! I love it, but I haven't had the chance to pick it up. After a great tip (cut a strip with scallop scissors and accordion fold) from my friend, Louise , I was in business. First, I made it too big. Then, I cut it down and it was too small. I added a pretty little ruffle made from crepe paper that I sprayed with my homebrew glimmer mist (which I also used for the Antiqued Glimmers background - a fantastic Technique Junkies tech from the 12/09 newsletter). Instead of tinsel, I edged mine in glitter.

I didn't have the medallion from the die, of course, so I punched a disc from black cardstock and glued my rusty star to it. I coated it with Glossy Accents (love the idea with the letters and had to use it somewhere else!). While I was digging through my vintage button stash, I came across an old jingle bell that ended up being the perfect accent. I was also happy to be able to use all my pretty buttons - I tend to hoard them and it's nice to show them off!

The big background stamp is from Oxford Impressions and is, sadly, no longer available. Maybe you could petition Suzanne to add it back to her line. It's an awesome stamp!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 7 (falling behind!)

 I tell you, once you start falling behind on's a slippery slope! Part of the problem with this tag is that it was such a struggle for me, I kept putting it aside. Today I decided that I would get it finished because I really want to work on the current one!

I had lots of substitutions for this one. I did use Grungeboard for my flower, but covered it with vintage French text. Instead of Rock Candy Stickles (I really need to get some of that!) I used chunky glitter and Glossy Accents. I think it looks pretty good! The center is a vintage brass button. My typewriter key was created using pretty much the same technique as I used last year (the only difference is I used a clear disk on the top). The 'joy' tag was created using a metal punch and a piece of tarnished brass.

I don't have the wood grain embossing folder, so I substituted one from Cuttlebug. I think it has a pretty similar look. Again, I used Glossy Accents and chunky glitter in lieu of the Rock Candy. I'm really happy with the way my letters came out. I didn't think I could get a good match with the red of the poinsettia, so I decided to ink them with green instead. I don't know if it was my dirty fingers or what, but they ended up with the coolest speckled look. I enhanced it with some Walnut Distress ink and then applied a light coating of Glossy Accents.

Ok, onwards and upwards! I have some serious catching up to do!

Linked to Artyjen's T!m Splinter Group. Go check it out - LOTS of fantastic eye candy there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 6

Yesterday, I spent the day down near Tupelo getting firewood w/my man, so I couldn't work on my tag - ack! I did get to go to Hobby Lobby though, where I was pretty excited to find the mini garland that Tim used on this tag. I also found some very cute holly garland as well. Even better, everything was 50% off, so I got a lifetime supply for a buck!

I had just a few deviations from Tim's tag today - the biggest was my tree and I was so thrilled to see that it worked! I did a variation of the Faux Embossing Folders technique from the latest issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. Instead of using a punched shape, I used one of the masks from Tattered Angels - you know, the ones we all bought and then never used. ;-) After I'd embossed it, I inked up the mask and then used it like a stamp to color the tree. It ended up giving it a speckled look, which I think looks so cool!

I couldn't get the right shade of blue for my background, plus, I'd really fallen in love with the way Stephen did his Day 4 tag. So, I decided to keep mine a nice, neutral brown shade. I think it really makes my reindeer stand out. For my reindeer, I used a clip art image that I Googled. I first painted him w/a dabber that I thought was the same one Tim used, but ended up being way darker, so I added a lighter blue over the top. When I sanded it, the original blue kind of peeked through. I liked that look so I left it that way. BTW, an emery board works great to sand those hard to reach spots!

The Peace stamp is from Oxford Impressions. I stamped it onto a scrap from a vintage ledger and then attached it to a ticket. I trimmed it and inked the edges and attached it with Tim's baby stapler. Instead of tissue tape, I pleated a strip of paper from a French book. The music background and snowflake are both from Oxford Impressions.

Now, I'm off to see if I can get caught up and finish today's tag!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 5

Today's tag from Tim is absolutely my most favorite - ever! The faux enameled numbers are worth the price of admission alone. Did I have any of the stuff he used? Almost nothing. Did I let that stop me? Hellz to the no!

The biggest challenge was the metal numbers he used - they are totally the star of this tag and I really wanted this look, but didn't have any. Thankfully, I have great friends who share their stuff! My friend, Ronnie, brought a bunch of metal sheets to stamp club a few months ago. They'd been used in printing presses (?) or something like that. Anyway, I have a bunch and figured I could use them to make my own numbers. I found a similar font, printed it out, and adhered it to the metal. Using sharp scissors, I cut out the numbers, trying hard to keep a nice edge. A little burnishing on the back side and I had something that looked pretty darn close to the original, for free! Thanks, Ronnie - you rock!

I didn't have white UTEE, but I had clear and regular white ep, so I combined them and embossed. I had to add quite a few layers of white to get the final look, but I am totally thrilled with how it came out. My flower was made with the same metal as the numbers. I had to stomp on the punch a little, but it worked!

The other thing I didn't have was green Distress Stickles. I ended up doing a multi-step method to get the final look. First, I tried using some of Martha's glitter, tinting it with Distress ink after it was dry. It was ok, but not really green enough. Next, I added some Adirondack green ep. Definitely made it a bit greener, but it still didn't pop. Finally, I added some Linen Distress Stickles. Perfect!

Oh, one more tip. I'm not sure if this was a tip from Tim or where I heard it, but, if you have the Picket Fence crackle paint, you can ink it with any color. So, if you don't have green crackle paint, don't despair! I painted my Grungeboard with white and, when it was dry, inked the heck out of it with various green distress inks.

Finally, I have to mention the awesome stamps I used. Is that not the BEST Santa stamp ever??? It's from Artistic Outpost's Snowy Woods collection. The holly and sentiment are both from AO's Sleigh Ride collection. Go buy them!

We're almost halfway through the 12 Tags of house is a mess, my studio looks like a bomb went off, and I'm not sure if I've changed my clothes or showered lately. But, I'm having SO MUCH FUN!! :-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 4

Today's tag was really a difficult one for me - if you didn't have the stuff he used, it was very hard to improvise. So, I didn't. I kind of followed the general direction he sent us in and did my own thing. That's what it's about, right? Otherwise we're just mimicking his work versus finding our own voice.

My biggest issue is that, well, I hate alcohol inks. And they feel the same way about me. I can never get the smooth look, like on Tim's crystal. Mine is always splotchy and the more I try to fix it, the worse it gets. After a bunch of tries, I ended up taking red Stazon and sponging it very lightly onto a Fragment. The sentiment (from Artistic Outpost) was stamped on a scrap of cardstock and glued to the Fragment. I wrapped the piece in silver tape to give it a soldered look.

My background was created by accident. I sponged blue ink onto my tag, but the yellow in the tag made the whole thing turn kind of green. To fix it, I scraped white acrylic paint all over the tag and then added more ink. I did this until the whole tag was covered and looked right to me. When I was done, I stamped the snowflake with Faded Jeans Distress ink.

My absolute favorite part of this is the little angel stamp. She's just been re-released by Oxford Impressions and I think she is one of my all-time favorites! She's stamped on glossy cardstock with black Archival ink, and then colored with Distress inks and a water pen.

To finish off my tag I sponged white acrylic paint over the Hope ticket to soften it, and attached it with a swirly silver clip (the other half of the clip is the attachment for the Fragment). The gorgeous ribbon is from Artistic Outpost - the pink actually matches IRL, don't know why it looks so different in the pic!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 3

Day Three, and Tim has shared yet another gorgeous tag, loaded with lots of fun and creative techniques!  Mine is, of course, loaded with lots of substitutions and an extra technique. For the most part I created my tag following Tim's guidelines. Here are my substitutions:
  • I created my own tissue tape (not worth the hassle! buy it!) by first stamping white tissue paper with a music stamp and then running it thru my Xyron. Then, cut into strips and apply randomly.
  • I didn't have Rock Candy Stickles, so I made my own icy glitter using Glossy Accents and some craft store chunky clear glitter.
  • My bottom ruffle was created using crepe paper streamers that are gathered and stitched to the tag.
  • The 'button' on my flower was made by inking an upholstery tack with Versamark and then embossing with silver ep. While it was hot, I dipped it into some of Martha's silver glitter. Love this!
Speaking of my flower - I absolutely love Tim's tissue tape flower, but I couldn't resist trying out the Acetate Flowers technique from the latest issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. It's very cool! The flowers were all cut using Tim's Tattered Florals die. All the stamps I used (except for the music) are from I Brake for Stamps

Ooops! I just realized I forgot the bird's wing! It is a flightless bird...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tim's Tag - Day 2

Another tag, another day of improvisation! Today's tag from Tim is really cool, unfortunately I didn't have a lot of what made it so great. I do have a lot of stamps and ink, though, and that's about all you really need!

The stamps I used are all from various Oxford Impressions stamp collections - I'm very lucky to own so many because they are truly some of the best stamps out there. No Cut 'n Dry felt here, so I just carefully inked the holly leaves and then added the color to the berries by smooshing fired brick and barn red ink pads on an acrylic block and then dabbing the ink on with a brush. I used the same method with the Scrabble tiles and it worked like a charm!

The 'metal' bird was created by embossing a bird with silver ink, and then sponging black ink over the whole thing and wiping it off. Definitely not as cool as a real metal one, but it works in a pinch! I created my own baubles using some pearl beads and other bits I had lying around. I got the cream ribbon out to dye and then fell in love with the softness of it, so decided to just leave it as is. I think it gives the tag a more feminine look, which I really love.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another fun year of Tim's Tags!

Ok, let me tell you a little secret - sometimes when you take a break from blogging/creating, you get out of the habit. Other things start filling the void that is left and suddenly you wonder how you can find the time to sit down and make something. At some point, you pry open the door to your studio and, as a gust of stale air whooshes out, you glance at your desk and notice the last thing you were working on was for Halloween - and it's over a month later!

Thankfully, Tim's Tags have come along to save me. I love seeing what he comes up with, but even more, I love the challenge of trying to recreate them with materials I have on hand. The first tag was particularly difficult since I had ABSOLUTELY nothing that he used, other than the Picket Fence crackle paint.

I had also been thinking about a new way to display my tags. I came up with the idea of mounting them on a block of wood - my kind hubby cut one out for me last night to try out (I drilled the hole tho!) and I love how it looks.  I had nothing like the house die Tim used, so I substituted this beautiful door stamp from Artistic Outpost's Snowy Woods collection. I remembered the wonderful coloring that Cathy Edgar did w/this stamp and tried to recreate that look. Of course, she is a master with Copic markers and I have none! Instead, I colored the image using a water pen and Distress inks. 

The picket fence is a wood one I bought ages ago. To finish my tag, I added some rusty jingle bells and a bit of glitter snow, and created a holder for my tag using a piece of wire. I love how it came out!

Here's to hoping this is just the inspiration I needed to get back in the saddle. :-)