December 08, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Christmastide


We've had a really rainy weekend here in the desert which made for a good time to get cozy in the craft room and make another Christmas tag.

I was channeling a vintage vibe with this one and used a page from an old German bible along with some fussy-cut paper from Graphic 45.


It was embellished with glitter glue, Glossy Accents and machine stitching and I used my typewriter for the text. I needed something to fill-in the bottom area and used a Stamp Collector stamp (Tim Holtz).

There's time to link yet again to Simon's Monday challenge for this week's "Let's Sparkle" theme.

December 07, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Happiness & Cheer


This one is made of a black cardstock background covered with poinsettia die-cuts (Tim Holtz) and embellished with tints and glitter glues.

This was truly a learning experience: It's hard to cut thin papers with intricate dies (you can't get the design out without tearing it) so, thanks to Google, I learned about using dryer sheets or waxed paper which helped a lot.

Also, it was the first time making my own glitter glue. I needed red but didn't have anything but the loose stuff and an empty Stickles container (you must save these--they are SO useful).

The mix was approx. 3/4 glitter to 1/4 fluid medium and I have to say it worked well.


This was a fun tag to make because I went kind of glitter-crazy and it's perfect for linking up to Simon's Monday challenge this week which is "Let's Sparkle."

December 02, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Be Good


Underneath the many layers of tints, texture paste and crackle medium is a mixed media die-cut (Tim Holtz) fashioned from brown card stock.

The frame is a Spellbinders die-cut covered with dimensional paint (Scribbles) which was also used on the large text (an image transfer).

Inside the frame is a Photobooth image (Tim Holtz), I used dots of Scribbles and Stickles (glitter glue) for bling and a strip of washi tape to balance out the intentional off-center placement of frame and text.


It will be easy to link-up with Simon's Monday challenge this week as I work through more of my holiday tags. The theme is "Let's Sparkle" and I've never made a Christmas tag EVER without using glitter--it just wouldn't be Christmas without it!

November 26, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Pine Grosbeak


The idea for this third Christmas tag for 2019 was a happy accident that I followed through on with a few deviations in between.  Let me explain.

I die-cut the holly (Tim Holtz Mixed Media Christmas) from a book page and placed it on top of some paper scraps. One of them was an enlarged half-tone image from a vintage book and I thought the various dots peaking through looked cool so I decided to use it.

The bird was cut from a vintage book. It was originally black and white and I added color with red ink and collaged over the branches. I've never seen this bird myself but they live in colder climates. Imagine coming across one foraging in the snow! I love birds :-)

I created an oval with dimensional paint drops (Scribbles) and painted over the outside section to create the vignette.

I distressed it with sanding, added the washi tape and a Remnant Rub and then made it an official Christmas tag by embellishing it with platinum Stickles.


I'm linking to Simon's "Tape It Up" Monday challenge.

Here's a link to Christmas tags from previous years if you'd like to see more (or use the link in the label section below).

November 24, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Twinkle


Making Christmas tag number two was a bit like decorating a cake! And since I used vintage buttons, I'm linking this one to Simon's Recycle challenge this week.


I began with a tag shape cut from some Tim Holtz Halloween paper (Abandoned) then I inked snowflake stencils with Versamark and embossed the shapes with clear powder.


The next step was to use a resist technique where you paint (or in this case, gesso'd) over the embossing and let it dry only slightly before wiping the paint off the embossed areas. Don't expect perfection with this technique--it's really meant for a distressed look.


My great Aunt Esther snipped many a button from her frocks over the years and I inherited quite a collection. I keep the little white buttons in one box and have another, bigger box with colored buttons in larger sizes. I gathered up an assortment and pasted them on.


I lightly tinted the background with Faded Jeans Distress Oxide and frosted the cake tag with glitter glues and dimensional paint (Scribbles and Stickles).


I always feel my tags need some kind of border. Since I used buttons, I reinforced the sewing theme by machine-stitching a mini zig-zag with green thread.

Stayed tuned for more tags--I appear to be on a roll--ha! Hope it lasts :-)

If you want to see my tags from Christmas pasts, here's a link.

November 21, 2019

12 Tags for Christmas 2019 - Father Christmas


My first Christmas tag of the year features a vintage image of Santa mounted on kraft card stock and embossed with gold polka dots.

This close-up shows the glitter I applied on the banner, around the oval and on the tree branches.


I'm linking this post to Simon this week because the theme is "Recycle" and I've included some photos to explain.


The tag was made from the back of an empty drawing paper pad (I save all quality cardboard just for this purpose).


I pasted my laser-printed image onto some packaging material before cutting it out. The material had a slick surface so to make sure I got a good bond using my glue stick, I sanded the surface before applying the image.


And finally, I like to use scraps of craft foam sheets when I want to lift an image from the surface to create some dimension. I just cut it to size and use some glue.

Look for more Christmas tags in the days and weeks to come (it's only 34 days away) and if you'd like to see more tags from previous years, here's a link.

November 15, 2019

In Someone's Dream


Sometimes, I like to break the rules and venture away from the mainstream. This unconventional collaged tag represents an art format that really appeals to me.

I have a tin box that contains bits and pieces of hand-cut ephemera prepared for various projects but never used. Today I dug in and pulled out a few pieces and turned them into this tag.

I'm linking to Simon's Monday challenge, Thinking of You, because clearly these ladies are pondering something.

November 12, 2019

Caring Hearts


A first for me--mass production of Christmas cards (25 to be exact)--what an experience!!

In the process, I learned what an A2 card size is (an 8-1/2" x 11" page cut in-half) and how to make my own envelopes. Woo-hoo!

I kept things simple by using animal images from a winter holiday paper pack and embellished them with dimensional paint and glitter glue.

All for a good cause as I'm forwarding them to the Caring Hearts Card Drive where they will be distributed to nursing home residents around the country.

The deadline was this Friday so I finished just in time!

October 31, 2019

Unrequited Love


I've got a lot of pics to share today that illustrate the steps I took to create this journal page made for Simon's Monday challenge this week.

Art journaling can be/should be somewhat spontaneous and you'll see by the process that unfolded for this page, nothing was set in stone and I changed directions a few times.

Being flexible and just "going with the flow" is what makes the experience fun. Not to mention what you might learn along the way!

I began with transcribing a document then pasted word strips cut from it onto the page.

I covered the page with gesso and tinted some sections with gray then sanded it a bit.

I transcribed the last paragraph of my document over the top using a Fude Ball 1.5 pen.

The ink was taking FOREVER to dry so I sprinkled clear embossing powder on it and heat-set. It was messy but did the trick and I like the emphasis and durability it provided.

I used a vintage stamping set (circa 2008) and applied the flowers with black archival ink.

I wanted to create the illusion of flowers growing over and around a brick wall so I printed a photo of some brick, tore out sections and used my image transfer technique.

As you can see, the wall was modified quite a bit later in the process but proved to be a good jumping-off point which was just what I needed.

I used shades of gray to blend in the wall and began to tint the page with craft paints.

I didn't worry too much about "staying inside the lines" but the paint did blur the stamping so I went over the lines with a black pen marker.

Here's the finished product--it's a two-page spread in a Ranger Dylusions journal (8" x 11"):

Some details I didn't photograph but are worth mentioning: I used the Dot Fade stencil and white paint to unify the page and added the butterfly (cut from Tissue Wrap) along with some Collage Paper leaves (Tim Holtz products).

October 15, 2019

This Happy Life


Thanks to Columbus, I had the day off yesterday and an opportunity to make something for Simon's Monday challenge (this week's theme is "Pink").

Nothing says pink like a coneflower so I made this tag by stamping on watercolor paper (Tim Holtz Flower Garden), the text is an old Remnant Rub, and the border was machine-stitched and dotted with Nuvo Crystal Drops.

Just a few things, technique-wise, that you might appreciate:


I'm sure you've seen the "no-line" technique when it comes to stamping an image that you plan to watercolor using a light shade of dye (water-based) ink so the lines disappear. But I like the lines! So for this tag, I stamped with archival inks using a pink, a tea stain, and a dark brown shade. The lines darkened somewhat after the watercoloring was applied.


Obviously, I had to do some masking to stamp this arrangement. But I didn't use the stems that come with the set and drew them on instead.

The photo above shows how I painted the background first using a juicy puddle of cobalt blue.


The bee was an after-thought. It was stamped onto a piece of tissue paper, cut-out, pasted on and then I dabbed a tiny bit of yellow paint on to its body.

It's also worth mentioning that I prefer to use a "hot-press" version of watercolor paper when I plan to stamp on it. Cold-press has bumps that I think make it harder to get a crisp image.

If you haven't tried watercoloring with rubber stamps, I can tell you it really is a lot of fun and very rewarding. Go for it!

October 09, 2019

Purple Martin


Autumn is Simon's Monday challenge this week and was the inspiration for this greeting card. I dug out an older (but favorite) paper stash by Tim Holtz called Wallflower and the bird (a Purple Martin), leaves and feathers were cut from it.

The background paper is this year's Halloween release from Tim called Abandoned. Run, don't walk to purchase (before it's all gone) if you like dark-colored, jewel-toned distress-looking paper.

I couldn't resist adding the book text. It accidentally showed up on my desk while working and it just seemed like karma to add it. I expect to use the card as a kind of "get well" greeting to provide words of encouragement.

The border was made with Copper Scribbles and Olive Branch Nuvo Crystal Drops.


To prevent warping, I pasted the various cut-out bits using tiny drops of a quick dry adhesive only where needed (on the floppy bits, etc.).

I also tinted the leaves ever so lightly with colored pencils and a bit of ink to alter their original neutral appearance.

October 01, 2019

Happy Birthday Thelma


Thelma (my good friend who got me started stamping) has a BIG milestone birthday coming up and this is the card I made for her.

Nothing ground-breaking to talk about technique-wise but I would like to mention the flower garland because it was hand-drawn by me after a few simple lessons from the queen of coloring books--Johanna Basford. She has a new book coming out this month that teaches her drawing methods.

I gave the garland some color with my Polychromos then cut it out and pasted it onto scrapbook paper.


The cardstock I mounted it on couldn't be a standard card size so I found some really great instructions here for how to make an envelope in ONE MINUTE. Really!

Then I decorated the envelope using inspiration from Kristina Werner and realize I need more interesting postage stamps for the next time I do this. (No pics for privacy reasons.)

I wonder if the post office would mind if I used a real stamp along with some fake ones like these? I'll have to try it and then let you know.

September 25, 2019

Fortune Cookies


What have I been up to lately? Making Asian-inspired paper-folded Christmas box ornaments that can hold a treat--of course!

It was the project idea I came up with after being invited to a guest spot on the The Funky Junkie Boutique blog. The challenge is "Treats Not Tricks" and here's the description:
  • Choose a theme and make something that will hold a treat for someone.  It could be a Halloween treat bag, a Valentine's candy box, a birthday card for a special person that holds a treat (could be a gift card "treat" or a bite of chocolate), anything that can hold a treat.
To make my box ornaments, I found some patterns here and used the Oriental Garden paper collection by Stamperia and lots of different glitter glues for decoration.

I used tracing paper and a scoring tool to transfer the patterns and quick-dry adhesive to hold them together after folding.

They looked rather plain in the beginning, but the real fun comes when you get out the glitter glue to decorate them. Nothing says Christmas like a little bling ☺!

Ornaments before decorating - click to enlarge






For gift-giving, I can tuck a treat inside or perhaps a note with a special wish or promise (kind of like a fortune cookie). Here are a couple examples of how the boxes open.



I look forward to seeing everyone's projects and encourage you enter the challenge--you might win a guest spot like I did and it's been a lot a fun. Thanks for stopping by!