December 12, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Shiny-Brite


I used two large pieces of Tim Holtz Christmas Ephemera for the background of this final tag of the series--number 12 of 12.

I altered the edges of the top part to create an arch with paint mixed to match the bottom section. The silver glitter glue (Stickles) was applied thickly and the dryed result reminds me of tinsel garland.


I used more glitter around the edge of the tree and on top of some ornaments along with some clear sequins here and there.

The presents were made with Idea-ology Fragments and paper bits from the Tidings stash and I dusted around the edges with a little silver paint.


The sentiment was stamp embossed and I used a wash of thin, off-white paint behind the letters to make them stand out more.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the tags I've made for Christmas this year and maybe found some inspiration for your own holiday crafting.

December 11, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Time of Wonder


Back in the day, Christmas postage stamps were printed using an elaborate process without benefit of the digital equipment we take for granted today.

And, sadly, a beautiful series of stamps commemorating great religious works of art is not something I'd expect the post office to take on in this day and age.

Thankfully, we have postage stamp collectors (philatelists) who preserve this vintage art form like my Great Aunt Esther who saved the one I've used for the tag I share with you today.


It was mounted in a little box I made that was lined with old book paper and sits on top of Tim Holtz Ephemera and a page from his Tidings paper stash.

The holly, pine branches and calendar page were cut out of that same Ephemera collection. It's mounted on a red satin ribbon and embellished with Rock Candy Stickles and Glossy Accents.


I used Folk Art gold metallic paint (good stuff) to trim the tag, box and text edges. For the text, I originally chose a Clippings Sticker but botched it up so I made a new one using another relic from the past, a typewriter.

Well, as this is tag number eleven (and also my favorite), I've only got one more to go to complete the set. It will be an homage to Tim Holtz if there ever was one and I hope you'll tune in!

December 10, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Special Delivery


I have a Christmas-themed playing card stamp by Inkadinkado that is useful for creating frames, ovals, etc., and was used to embellish my tenth tag. The photo was cut from Tim Holtz Ephemera.


The florals were cut from Graphics 45 paper (Winter Wonderland). To adhere large, intricate cuts like this one, I use an aerosol adhesive that works well but you must go outdoors to spray it.

December 09, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Noel


I drifted away from the conventional with tag number nine and I kinda like where I ended up.

The ingredients are Tim Holtz Tidings paper stash, a Christmas Collage stamp (on tissue paper), Ephemera, Distress Inks, black Stickles and a white gel pen.

The tree was made from a stencil (Clear Scraps). I traced the outline onto paper and then cut it out by hand. Some might think that's a lot of work but for me, it's relaxing and therapeutic.

December 08, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017- Most Wonderful Time


It's tag number eight and that rhymes with skate!

(Sorry...  if you've ever made 12 Christmas tags in a row, you start to get a little slap-happy.)

The assembly consists of an Occasions found relative (Tim Holtz) which was masked then stamped, a die-cut (Tim Holtz Gothic Gate) made from a magazine page, and pinecones cut from the Frosted paper pad (Kaisercraft). Some Stickles and Scribbles provided the bling and text was cut from the Tim Holtz Tidings paper stash (2016).

December 07, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Dashing


Okay, I know, dashing through the snow is about a sleigh and a horse (and bells I think), but birds do some dashing, too, as evidenced by my cat's favorite entertainment (a live video cam of a bird feeder in Canada).

So perhaps that explains my combination of birds and text for this, my 7th Christmas tag of the season.


I was drawn to the combination of the golden yellows with the black and white. The birds were cut from a Graphic 45 paper called Winter Wonderland, the vertical strip is the edge of an old book page, and the snowflakes and text are from a paper pad called Deck the Halls with Chalk (Hobby Lobby/Paper Studio, 2013). The tiny white dots are Scribbles (3D fabric paint).

December 06, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Merry & Bright


I've reached the half-way mark, here's Tag 6 of 12 for Christmas 2017, and I am having a blast! This one was easy as pie using a Christmas Collage stamp tinted with Distress Ink and mounted on a page from the Tidings paper stash.

I machine-stitched around the edges with two colors of thread, went crazy with glitter glue (Stickles), added the holly and berries (hand-cut from some Tim Holtz Ephemera) and then a strip of Lace Trimmings.

December 05, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Wonderful Time


We had a toboggan when I was a kid. Not the safest kind of sled but ours could handle about six passengers at a time which made it easy to steer as long as everyone leaned the right way in unison.

This little miss was certainly safe when this vintage photo (Graphic 45 Frosted) was taken. It was nicely staged with a painted background and fashionable clothing (I wonder if it may have been done for an advertisement or greeting card).


She is the focal point for tag five of my 12 for Christmas and was placed on top of a background of embossed snowflakes tinted with Distress Oxide (Faded Jeans) and framed with tissue paper and a cut-out stamp border.

Embellishments include scraps from a Tim Holtz Mixed Media die and lots of Stickles. The ribbon is a scrap of Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric

December 04, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Peace


One of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags for Christmas 2011 featured Ranger's Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint and I bought some.

Believe it or not, by storing it upside down it's still good! Granted, it is a little thicker than it once was but I just used a palette knife to spread it over the dove (instead of the brush the paint came with).

Once dry, a layer of white Perfect Pearls was added over the top for a little more sparkle.


The background is an Idea-ology Sophisticate Cabinet Card Frame that I separated from it's backing and aggressively sanded down then stamped with text before cutting it to fit my tag.

I cut a piece of Graphic 45 (Botanicabella) paper to fit inside the oval, added a black satin ribbon along the bottom and lots of tiny drops of Liquid Pearls.


The text was clear embossed but looked a little lost on the background so I used a fine paint brush and white paint to shadow the sides of the letters.  I also thought just a hint of color in the background would do some good so I smudged on a little Fired Brick and Forest Moss Distress Ink and Tag No. 4 was complete.

December 03, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Season's Greetings


Tag three of my 12 for this year's Christmas was an experiment using a hand-made stencil patterned after the original rubber stamp. I like to use Yupo for my stencil material because it is strong, waterproof and cuts like butter.


After pasting on a background of old book paper, I used thin white acrylic paint and the stencil to make a random pattern then stamped over the stenciled areas once the paint was dry.

I didn't worry too much about accuracy and you'll see places where the two (stencil and stamp) don't meet. But that's okay because the variations added interest in color and line.

My tints mainly came from Distress Oxides (lipstick and pistachio). I also used a light wash of white acrylic and a few watercolors, where needed, to adjust some values.

Platinum Stickles and Tim's Tissue Tape created a border that was darkened next to the inside edges with a bit of charcoal pencil.


Stamp credits: Penny Black Christmas Star, Echo Park Christmas Sentiments

December 02, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - 'Tis the Season


A page from a Tim Holtz Kraft Resist paper stash was a key ingredient for this, my second tag for Christmas, 2017.

A light wash of white acrylic was used to bring out the resist design. It was embellished with stamped elements (the deer, pine bough, and cut-out holly leaves) along with some burlap ribbon and numbers from a vintage Tim Holtz grunge board collection.

And it wouldn't be a Christmas tag without adding lots of glitter (Gold, Rock Candy Stickles) and that is absolutely my favorite part about making these tags and I can really get carried away with it!

The text that wraps around the arch was made by cutting a strip from a pad of fairly thin paper. It was dampened lightly so I could round the shape before pasting. I used a slow-drying glue that allowed more time/wiggle-room and gently manipulated it to follow the curve.

December 01, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Joy to the World


♪♫ ♪ "On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me ..." ♪♫♫♪

Ten years ago today, Tim Holtz began the tradition of blogging about techniques for creating 12 Tags for Christmas and I've continued to make them every year since then to decorate my presents.

This year, I decided to post them in 12 consecutive days beginning December 1st just like he used to do and my first tag features a simple, understated design with an early American or Georgian vibe.

The background is pearly paper with clear-embossed snowflakes (Kaisercraft Frosted) that was tinted with Faded Jeans Distress Oxide.

I coated the book paper die-cuts (Carta Bella Joy Wreath) with Glossy Accents and created additional contrast by using a blue gel pen and a water brush (which soaked in underneath).

I gave the entire surface a wash of dilute white acrylic paint and took advantage of the resist properties of the Glossy Accents by wiping the paint away from the die-cuts where there was overage.


I used a Remnant Rub to complete the phrase and made a frame border with 1/8" silver metallic ribbon (Offray) tinted with off-white acrylic paint.

To age the appearance a bit more, I rubbed on Frayed Burlap Distress Ink here and there and added some Liquid Pearls along the bottom for a touch of Christmas bling.