Saturday, December 10, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 9

We're already on Day 9. Actually since it's almost 1:30 a.m. on Day 10 . . . how did that happen? So here's a link to Tim Holtz' 9th tag in his 2011 12 Tags of Christmas. And here is my interpretation.
I will say that when I spent the day envisioning this tag before I made it, the background was a bright two-tone. But when it came time to put it together, I couldn't have anything compete with my bird, so I went monochromatic. This tag is all about that bird. I love him so much I might actually cry. (But since it's 1:30 in the morning, it could be exhaustion.) Here's a close-up of the little fellow:

I Xyroned a bunch of feathers onto a piece of chipboard, and then I die cut it and hoped for the best. I won't lie to you--I added the yellow feather to his head after it was die cut, and of course the beady eye, but other than that the feathers were randomly placed, although they were all facing the same direction on the chipboard.

This close-up also shows the bird cage. I used Shelly Hickox' "faux crazed porcelain" technique. You should check it out if you haven't already.


Friday, December 9, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 8

So here it is December 9, and I'm just putting up the tag from yesterday! Here's a link to Tim's Day 8 tag; and here is my tag:

This tag had a horrible time being born. I think I started it five different times before I got the background looking like I wanted it.

The first thing I did to the tag was to stamp the train and the plume coming out of the top of the train (I thought it looked like Christmas steam) in VersaMark and clear emboss them. Then I applied the distress ink (in Tim's 2011 holiday colors) to the tag with the inking tool as he shows on his blog. After the tag was inked, I put a piece of copy paper over the tag, took a hot craft iron, and ironed the tag. The embossing powder was transferred to the copy paper, but the uncolored image was still left on the tag.

Then I stamped in a random brown color some of the stamps from this Oxford Impressions Steampunk Works plate. The bottom trim of the tag was stamped on black cardstock with a stamp from this Oxford Impressions Steampunk Elements plate and embossed with "Rustique Tin Can" embossing powder. I also embossed the big gear in that embossing powder. The other gears were embossed in different metallic embossing powders. In fact, sometimes while the embossing powder was still hot, I would sprinkle on an entirely different embossing powder color. Crazy!

For the stopwatch, I stamped the watch from Artistic Outpost's The Outpost plate and embossed with gold ink and cut it out. Yes, I even cut out the insides with small sharp scissors. Then I stamped Santa Clause from Fancy Pants' Blissful Season stamp set onto cream colored paper and framed it with the stop watch. I just so happened to have a facet that fit the watch perfectly!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 7

Here's a link to Tim Holtz' Day 7 Tag during this 12 Tags of Christmas challenge. We're over half way though. Here's my tag, which is truest to the original that I've done so far.

Mucho thanks to my friend Shelly for giving me a couple sheets of kraft glassine a while ago. I didn't have the Holly Branch die that he used, so I used the smaller holly leaves from the Festive Greenery die. Needless to say I had to use more than four leaves.

Also, I initially tried to draw some branches onto chipboard because I don't have the Holly Branch die, but then it occurred to me that I have actual trees in my yard and, therefore, actual sticks. So at 6 a.m. this morning I put on my shoes to go outside and was delighted to see that there was snow everywhere! I had to clean the snow off my stick so that I could paint some fake snow on there.

The stamp that I used is by Anna Griffin, and the really fun new technique I learned this morning is fraying the ends of lace. Yeah, the kraft glassine was okay, too, but I will probably use the frayed lace more often.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 6

You know the drill (unless this is your first visit to my blog), here's Tim's tag for Day 6, and here's mine:
This might be my favorite tag so far. I didn't have the metal foil tape that Tim used, so I Xyroned (can that really be a verb) some aluminum foil from the kitchen to glossy cardstock. It worked perfectly.

I ran this through a snowflake Cuttlebug folder then painted the whole thing with blue and black paint, then, when it was dry, I sanded the paint from the raised portions. Then, as instructed by Mr. Holtz, I started adding clear embossing powder. Every time I added a layer, it got prettier. After three layers of clear embossing powder, I added a layer of my own personal mix, which I call "Clear Blue EZ." Okay, it's just clear EP with blue glitter, but it was perfect for this tag. Here's just the background:

It was hard not to just leave it at that, but I added the die cut holly from Cheery Lynn Designs and added lots of clear embossing powder to that as well. Then I added the bird from the Stampin' Up set Language of Friendship (there's a punch that goes along with that stamp set--cool!). Of course, I couldn't not add layers of embossing powder to that as well. I cut the metal label with a Spellbinders Nestability die.

I am in love with this tag! And now we're half way done. Wonder what Tim has for us tomorrow.


Monday, December 5, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 5

Yes, this is my very purple Day 5 tag in response to Tim Holtz' Day 5 tag. I know people have a hard time with this technique, but I found it worked very easily. This was a pretty quick tag to come together for me. I think it's because of the black ink I used, which is VersaFine. To finish I stamped on blue snowflakes from OnyxXpressions.

Now Tim forgot one very important step in his tag. He just placed the clear part of the tag on a white tag--no glitter at all! Crazy! I covered the entire white tag with lots of glitter first which is why the tree seems sparkly. The sky is sparkly, too. Everything is very, very sparkly on this tag. And also shiny from the plastic.

Okay, to be honest this tag is not my favorite; it's a little Disney Land for my taste. I can't wait to see what tomorrow's Tim Tag challenge is.


12 Tags of Christmas - Day 4

It's Day 4 for the Tim Holtz' Christmas tag challenge, and here's a link for Tim's Day 4 tag. And here is my answer to it:
This tag took a very long time to make, the reason, my crackle medium is very slow drying. I cut the snowman out of an old (I think retired) snowman die by Spellbinders and the numbers are also from a Spellbinders die. There's actually a little more color in the snowman that is appearing on this photo.

The background, which I tried Tim's way and failed, is made by spraying several Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists and then spraying water to mix them on the tag. It's pretty shimmery in real life. Even though I couldn't get Tim's technique to work as well as mine, I do think I'll pick up some Picket Fence Distress Stain when I get a chance. My friend Shelly has a 10% off coupon code on her blog to Inspiration Emporium, so I'll probably use that.

The snowflake border, which I LOVE, is from Memory Box. Their dies are so cool and delicate.

I tried and tried to think of something to finish off this tag. To tell you the truth (and it might be blasphemous), I didn't really like the buttons Tim used on his tag. And I had a LOT of time to come up with an alternative (really, really slow drying time on the crackle medium). And then I remembered Anna Wight's crystal snowflakes. It's been long time since I made one, but they're really fun to make--especially if you like glitter all over your studio. See closeup below:


Saturday, December 3, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 3

It was really, really nice not to do this first thing in the morning. Tim's Tag today was all about how you can make multiple multi-color stamp images using Cut-N-Dry Felt. That's such a great idea, especially if you have Cut-N-Dry Felt. Or, if you don't care if the colors bleed into each other, you can use cleaning wipes. I went with the wipes because they're much cheaper and already live in my studio.

First lay out your craft mat that nothing sticks to, and I like to lay out some painters tape so I can make sure the stamp is positioned the same way every time. Then I put down four layers of wipes and stamped onto it with black StazOn. THEN I added drops of ink to the wipes so it was saturated all over with the colors I wanted. This makes a temporary personal multi-color ink pad.

Here are my first three copies. So much fun I made 21 identical copies. One for the tag and 20 for some quick Christmas cards.

But Tim also had a bonus technique today where you could use the same technique to do snowflake background cards. I loved this idea, but, of course, I tweaked it just a bit.

I stamped multi-color snowflakes, then ran it through the with a snowflake Cuttlebug folder. I brayered VersaMark over the raised areas and added some clear sparkly embossing powder. Then I sponged a little ink on the edges.

So here it is all together. The red berries are actually some red beads I sewed on. If you haven't yet made a "bow" with a brad, check out this technique, which is maybe the best thing I learned all fall. I don't know who originally came up with it, but kudos!

Above is the card that I'm making 20 of. It's a little simpler than the Tim Tag and uses nail head stickers for berries instead of beads.


Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Tags of Xmas - Day 2

Okay, so here is Tim's tag for Day 2, and here is mine:

I made so many substitutions today. Tim had a "Seasonal Craft Resist Pad." and I had cardstock on which I made some areas "resisty" by stamping and embossing with clear embossing powder. Tim used "Distress Stain" and I used gesso. I will say that if I were to do my background again, I would do the resist part first before stamping in black, but it all kind of washed out with the gesso, so I guess it's not a big deal.

Tim sponged his holly with color. I started doing that, but felt after it was all put together that it needed more, so I covered it with Stickles. (Something had to balance the bottom border.) Tim used Perfect Pearls Mist, and I used Smooch Spritz.

Big difference--Tim used a deer die, while I had to stamp a pair of deer (Penny Black) on chipboard, cut the deer out, run them through the Xyron to make them sticky, put the fabric on the deer, and then cut the deer to the chipboard shape. That took a while. Instead of canvas, I have this fabric that looks just like tooled leather, and I'm totally in love with it, so I used that on the deer. (I also have that fabric in black, which you might be able to see behind the tag in the photo. The bottom trim on my tag is a little different as well. I used metal by Ten Second Studios for the red and also the green pine boughs (see yesterday's post for details on that).

The garlands around the deers' necks are made of the Ten Second Studio metal as well. I cut out this die from Cheery Lynn Designs out of the metal, clipped it up, and made my own wreath. Then I added Stickles.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Saturday and I don't have to get up at 5 a.m. to make the tag. Yay!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tim's Tags - Day 1

It's that time of year again! Time to participate in Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas. It's Tim's fifth year hosting this great inspirational event, and my third year to participate. Last year I didn't finish because my 25th Wedding Anniversary trip broke my momentum, but this year is just the 26th, so I can stay focused (sorry Honey). Here's Tim's Day 1 Tag. I was so excited about this challenge that I woke up early to get it finished before work. Okay, I didn't get it finished in the time alloted, but I did finally get it done, and here it is:

I know, I know, it doesn't look a thing like Tim's Tag, but that's the point. Tim provides the inspiration; the artist provides her or his own voice. My tag actually makes a social statement. We work and work all year long, day-in, day-out. Then Christmas comes along, and the gears freeze. Literally in this case.

The holly was die cut out of green cardstock with this Cherry Lynn Designs die, which I love. It's so delicate. I was going to use this Martha Stewart punch with a different green cardstock, but it had been so long since I had used the punch, I thought I would sharpen it first. In order to sharpen a punch, just punch through some foil or light metal. The light metal I had on hand was a scrap of green. WOW! It made some awesome winter folliage. Check out the detail:

I also used a Cuttlebug embossing folder and some Sizzix gear dies. The "Merry Christmas" is Anna Griffin, and Tiny Tim and Mr. Scrooge are by Stampin Up, colored with Copic markers.

This was so much fun, I can't wait for tomorrow!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snow Day Art Project

Is it just me? I buy cool things because I think it will make a cool art project, and then that cool thing just sits on a shelf and takes up space. This is a wood shelf that I bought at the dollar store over a year ago. I bought it not having a clue what I was going to do with it, but it had great "bones."

Yesterday it snowed and I stayed home from work. Time to make that wood shelf into art.

So I painted the shelf with my favorite acrylic paint--DecoArt Dazzling Metallics, Ellegant Finish, Espresso. It's basically brown with a nice shimmer. Then I lined the back of the shelf with some paper from GCD Studios.

I wanted the edges of the shelf to be really special, so I cut 1-inch wide strips out of some aluminum I had lying around (I guess at one time I thought it would make a cool art project), and used a Ten Seconds Studios kabuka mold in my Big Shot to emboss a really pretty design into the aluminum.

Because I wanted it to match the rest of the shelf perfectly, I painted the aluminum with the same DecoArt paint, and when it had dried, I sanded the top so that the silver would show through on the design. TIP: There is no need to paint the metal before you adhere it to the shelf. I had to repaint it after I had adhered it to the shelf with Humungo Killer Tape, due to the fact that I really burnished the metal onto the shelf. The process of burnishing also scrapes off tape. Lesson learned.

Anyway, in the end the edges turned out really good for a Snow Day Art Project!

The gears were cut out of some chipboard using a Sizzix Bigz die from the Tim Holtz Alterations collection. I wanted to try the Faux Tarnished Metal technique that my friend Shelly Hickox was kind enough to write a tutorial for. The only problem was that I appear to be out of clear UTEE. However, I have lots of bronze UTEE, so I used that. Somehow one of my gears even got pitted. Happy accident. That's distressing, baby.

So the gears might clue you in that I had a Steampunk theme in mind. My aforementioned friend Shelly recently did a tag of a Steampunk woman that was very cool, and I was going to do the same, BUT as I was looking at my stamp images, this kitty cat from Magenta caught my eye. I put a top hat on him from Oxford Impressions. Unfortunately, the hat was going the wrong way, so I stamped it with StazOn onto acetate and flipped it over.
And where did the feather in the hat come from? Well, you never know with a cat. Better to not ask questions.
And did you notice the monocle? If I were to do it again, I'd make it a little bigger, but I though it was a cute Steampunky touch. I bent some wire, set it over the cat's eye, and then filled the center with Crystal Effects glue.

I know that pieces of Art nowadays are supposed to say "Dream," "Create," or even "Hope." But I though "Meow" was much more appropriate. I printed it using a font called "Kelly" and put it in a Tim Holtz' Ornate Plate.

I wanted some more color, so I made some flowers out of Ten Seconds Studio art metal and these and these Spellbinders dies.

So here's my finished Snow Day Art Project piece. What do you think?