Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 7

Here is my tag for Day 7 of Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas challenge. My tag was inspired by this tag of Tim's.

I have to say the part I worked on the hardest was the background. Tim used this woodgrain texture fade embossing folder, and I didn't have one. So I coated my tag with four layers of clear UTEE and one layer of glittery embossing powder, loaded VersaMark onto a woodgrain background stamp, heated the tag so the EP was warm, and pressed the stamp into the surface of the tag. Nothing. Tried it again. Nothing. The problem was the surface of the tag was so big that I couldn't get the entire thing hot enough at one time to take an impression from a rubber stamp.

So Bob and I went to dinner instead. I happened to pick a restaurant close to Archivers and we just happened to stop by there after dinner so I could buy: 1) the woodgrain texture fade embossing folder; 2) some rock candy distress stickles; and 3) some more clear UTEE because I had just used up my last bit putting four layers onto a tag.

Can you believe that Archivers didn't have ANY of these items tonight. I had to go home and rethink my plan.

I took the tag and a craft sheet and my heat gun into the kitchen and turned the stove burner on low. I have one of those electric flat-top stoves so I figured it would heat pretty evenly. I went ahead and re-melted the embossing powder with the heat gun, and the heat from the stove was keeping it warm, and I pressed my stamp hard onto the tag. I took the whole thing, craft mat and all off the stove and peeled the rubber away from the tag. VOILA! It worked like a charm! I took the tag back to the stamp room and rubbed brown StazOn ink over the whole thing, and it looked very much like sparkly wood.

Later I covered up almost all of the background, but if you were to come to my house and peel everything off that tag, you would be impressed.

I also didn't have Tim Holtz sticky-backed canvas, but I did have some neutral-colored fabric. I used a Humungo Killer Tape Sheet to stick the fabric to some colored art metal. Then I colored the fabric with some Radiant Rain paint and Glimmer Mists and dried them with my heat gun. I cut the fabric/metal with three sizes of Spellbinders' dahlia dies. Just like Tim instructed, I cut the flowers and flipped them around. Because my flower petals are backed with metal, they hold their shape even better than Tim's flowers do. I totally LOVE my giant poinsettia!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 6

Here is my tag for Day 6, inspired by this Tag made by Tim Holtz. Again, lots of substitutions, but I really like this tag. It looks kind of elegant (except in this photo, I don't really like the reindeer. It's way more reindeer-y in real life.)

The deer I used was one of the shapes in a holiday grungeboard set I bought several years ago. I embossed the deer like Tim said to do, painted it purple to reflect the sky, and then ran a StazOn pad over it. I tried sponging distress ink on it first, but the StazOn worked much better for me.

I like the technique Tim used of stamping directly onto an embossing folder and then running it through a die cutter. I have done this before with great success. Unfortunately the only embossing folder I have that would have worked for this tag is a bamboo folder, and that's not very Christmas-y. So I heat embossed this tree from Stampin' Up's "Lovely as a Tree Set" (a perennial favorite of mine).

I first loaded the pine tree stamp with VersaMark and then put Garden Green and Always Artichoke ink onto it. I stamped it three times without reinking so that I could get some depth and make it look like there were several trees. (The third tree looks more like a ghost tree though.) Then I embossed with clear embossing powder.

The garland around the deer's neck started out gold and silver. I dyed it with alcohol reinkers. I really worked the ink into the garland with my fingers. I hope my fingers eventually return to being finger-colored.

Oh, I dyed the ribbon, too, but that was much easier. I pulled a ribbon between a distress ink pad and a sponge, and then I ironed it to heat set it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 5

Today's tag is inspired by this tag made by Tim Holtz. The first thing I like about this tag is that it's not blue. I really loved the first four tags I made, but I was getting a little tired of using the same colors.

Tim had this incredible way of making enamel numbers using his Ideology "numerals" which is great, except I don't have any of those. My friend Shelly Hickox solved that problem by finding a font she liked, running off large versions on copy paper, taping the paper to soft art metal, and then cutting the
m out. I loved that idea, so I did that. Then Shelly combined white embossing powder and clear UTEE, so I did that too. Shelly came up with wonderful-looking numbers, and I did too. Shelly stopped there and added them to her tag. Not me, I decided to try and put holes in them and attach them to the tag with brads. BIG MISTAKE! All the embossing powder cracked and came off.

Alternatively, I had a metal "Believe" stashed away, and it seemed to fit with my Inkadinkado Santa Claus. So I got out my white embossing powder and clear UTEE and started over. It looked all white and like porcelain, but it didn't pop against the weathered
slice of sheet music, so I added a final layer of "red tinsel" embossing powder, and now it pops for me.

The flocking on the beard looks totally awesome! I am in love with Santa's facial hair!

One final note: Stickles take forever to dry. I realize some people were waiting all day for me to put this on my blog, but I couldn't assemble it until it had dried. I hope it was worth the wait.

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 4

It's almost 1 a.m.! You would think I could get a tag finished earlier on a Saturday . . . and now it's Sunday! This will be a very short post.

I was really enjoying how all my tags coordinate with one another, but I am getting really tired of blue tags. This tag based on Tim Holtz' Day 4 tag, was really fun to do. I actually went to Archiver
s and bought the facets, but I had a hard time getting the alcohol inks to behave correctly on the back. See Tim's Steps 3 - 5. Instead I used an Azure StazOn pad, and it worked like a charm.

THE NEXT MORNING: Okay, now that I've had a good night's sleep, I feel much better, and I'm ready to give a few more details.
I started with some pretty blue background paper with "Seasons Greetings" printed all over it and added some funky Stampin' Up snowflakes embossed with white embossing powder heavily fortified with glitter. The ice skaters, "Post Card," and the label are also from Stampin' Up, and the skaters were colored (quickly, not well) with Copic markers.

The lace at the bottom didn't get added until this morning. I woke up and remembered that a year or so ago I bought ribbon with blue beads in it. It was perfect!

The gems, obviously, were placed in a free-form manner to compliment the tag.

Now I'm off to check out Tim's tag for today! Oh . . . and go to church. Places to go, deities to see . . .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 3

Well Mr. Tim Holtz put out another beautiful tag yesterday in his 12 Tags of Christmas challenge (he put out another today, too, but I haven't gotten to that one yet). Of course, I don't have Ranger studios at my home, so I had to substitute some of Tim's stuff for stuff in my poorly furnished studio.

The first thing I substituted was his red bird. You may notice that my bird looks somewhat like a butterfly. I tried using a bird punch, but the
bird punch I have is so small that two strips of tissue tape covered the whole thing. The tissue tape works really well. I tried to add Stickles to it after I had it cut out and colored, but the glitter didn't look evenly distributed and the glue wasn't so smooth. So I wiped it all off, dried it with my heat gun and put three coats of sparky embossing powder on it instead. It looks really pretty.

Since I was going with a
butterfly instead of a bird, I substituted the green tag with a blue tag, and then added flourishes instead of a tree. But it didn't look Christmasy at ALL, so I stamped my snowflakes with VersaMark and brushed on some silver Perfect Pearls.

I did make a flower out of the tissue tape, and then I sprayed it green and put a beaded centerpiece in the middle. The Santa Claus was stamped with a Fancy Pants stamp, colored with Copic markers, and then distressed with distress ink and

My one regret is that I didn't put more white paint around the edges. I think my acrylic paint may have been thinner than Tim's paint or my stamp had finer dots, but I would have liked to have had more "snow" around the sides.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 2

Well, just like yesterday, let me show you Tim Holtz' tag that inspired my tag. Pretty, huh? And as you can see, my tag is closer to Tim's today. Not dead-on, but closer.

The OnyxXpressions snowflakes were stamped first and embossed with clear embossing powder (EP). I used a coated white paper for this tag, and that's going to be important to know in a minute. I sponged some blue distress inks on the tag, then took a heated craft iron, put some copy paper over the tag, and ironed off the embossing powder from the snowflakes. The copy paper absorbed all of the EP like magic, leaving me with white snowflakes on a blue background, but it's all very smooth. You don't need a craft iron to do this technique--the one that you iron your clothes with will work fine.

I embossed the pine cone (Stampin Up) and the pine branches (Penny Black) and the "NOEL" (Anna Griffin) . . . yadda, yadda, yadda, not very interesting, whatever.

Here's the interesting thing: On the edges where there were no pine branches, I stamped some Fancy Pants flourishes with VersaFine sepia ink. I know, you can't see any brown flourishes. That's because I wiped them off and it took the distress ink off with it! I wish my tag had been a little larger to start with, because these "ghost flourishes" are very cool, and I am going to try to incorporate them into my next tag a little bigger, because this is definitely something I want to play with. I wonder whether the heat setting of the ink (from ironing off the clear EP from the snowflakes) contributed to this technique--something to explore.

The birds are punched with that really good Martha Stewart sparrow punch and embossed with three coats of pewter EP. Finally, I finished by adding some ribbon and red "nailhead" stickers. I was going to make some baubles and attach them to the ribbon like Tim had done, but I really undersized the tag and thought they would be overwhelming. Plus I wanted something red in the lower right-hand corner to balance the red ribbon, so I went with the nailheads instead of the baubles.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 1

I don't know if any of you follow Tim Holtz, but every December he has a tag challenge. Click here to see his tag for Day 1.

My tag is somewhat different from Tim's. He uses a house die cut; I stamped a train station. Tim used distress ink on a craft sheet, spritzed it, and applied it to the tag and then dried it; I had choir practice tonight and didn't have time for anything that fancy so I just dry-sponged the ink onto the tag. Tim used a white picket fence die cut; I have it on good authority that the man in the foreground buys and sells stolen watches.

Get it . . . he's a "fence."

The train station and the fellow in front of it are from Artistic Outpost's Steampunk plate. The gears are from Oxford Impressions' Steampunk Elements plate. The snowflakes are from OnyxXpressions (they're my favorite snowflake stamps of all time). The watch face is a retired Stampin' Up stamp.