December 31, 2011

12 Tags Leftovers...

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas with your loved ones this year.  We had a wonderful time with both the Smith and Vargo families, gathering in big groups and little ones too.  Always great to see everyone and be together.

Well, the holidays are famous for leftovers, normally food, but for me... I had some leftovers from Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas and wanted to use them up, so I made a reverse image tag using up the scraps...

So, you can see, this tag was inspired by the leftovers from Tim's steampunk tag, which was from Day 7.  I used the remaining half of the clock and flipped it to the other side of the tag, and had one sprocket gear left so cut it into sections.  All the grungeboard pieces were painted with paint dabbers (black and copper), sanded down a bit, inked with walnut stain ink, and then hit with a bit of gold for highlights.

Added some idea-ology sprocket gears, game spinners, keys, and a star pin by Maya Road, some filmstrip ribbon, and one of Tim's sentiments to finish it off. 

Hope you have fun ringing in the new year - we're not big party people, so we'll be having a quiet night at home.... but first... must go to visit The Queen.... Queen Patti that it... at The Queen's Ink!  It's been entirely too long... who knows what stashly bits will call my name today!

Happy New Year!

~ ellen.

December 19, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Tim and Tags

Hi everyone!

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is "Tim and Tags".  I had so much fun doing Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas this year - I couldn't wait to do another Tim-inspired Christmas tag.

I started with some Christmas kraft resist paper, the tags and bookplates Sizzix die and winter seasonal distress inks for the background, then added an ornate plate with stamping from Christmas mini 3 stamp set, adding rock candy crackle paint on the greeting.

Then I cut the pine tree out of grungeboard, used peeled paint and walnut stain distress stains to color the tree, and added diamond dust on the branches using art glitter glue (my wet glue of choice... dries clear with a matte finish... sets quickly - love it!).

Finally, added a christmas muse token, a stacked mini rosette cut from Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium paper, and some of Tim's trimmings and lace to finish it off.

If you're still working on this year's 12 Tags, make sure you post it on the challenge site and you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp! And remember - this week's challenge will last for TWO weeks so you have plenty of time to join in over the Christmas Holidays.

I'll be back with the next SSS&S challenge on January 2nd - hope you all have a very merry Christmas and enjoy celebrating the New Year!  See you in 2012!

~ ellen.

December 12, 2011

I Finished! Tag #12


Well, I'm happy and sad... happy that I was able to stay on track and do each tag on the day it was posted, but oh so sad that this years 12 Tags of Christmas has come to an end.  This annual event has turned in to a real tradition for me, and I always enjoy seeing what Tim will come up with.  What a treat! 12 straight days of pure creativity from Tim.  As I've said before, I don't always love everything about every tag, but I *always* find a technique or other element that I *do* love, and enjoy the challenge of making them with my own twist or touch.  Here we go with Tag #12...

Once again, there were several elements that I had to improvise for.  I didn't have Tim's new tissue paper, so I used 7 gypsies tissue paper instead - worked fine, just has more of a kraft colored tone, rather than white, but with an additional coat of picket fence distress stain, it helped tone it down a bit.

I did the dwelling house the same as Tim, but didn't have the "fractured doll" that Tim used... sorry... not a fan... so used a die cut reindeer instead.  I coated the reindeer with picket fence stain and then gave it another coat with brushed corduroy distress stain.  Having the white stain underneath makes the color on top much lighter than normal and gives it a chalky appearance.  I added a coat of rock candy distress stickles on the reindeer as well.

Didn't think Tim's sentiment went with my images, so chose to use "silent night" instead, and used alpha parts swiped with white paint dabber, rather than Tim's die cut letters, which I didn't have.  I also had to improvise on the tissue flower, but as luck would have it, I just bought a set of pre-made tissue flowers by Basic Grey from the new Little Black Dress collection - perfect!  Once again, I didn't have the lace trim die, so used the "on the edge-pinking" die instead and then pierced tiny holes in each tip with a needle.  Didn't have silver tinsel so used white roses from Tim's trimmings collection.

Decided to put the snowflake adornment at the top of the house rather than dangling from the top of the tag, and added a pearl bauble instead.  The last improvisation came by using a pearl pen for the trim around the edges, rather than platinum stickles. 

I think the thing I'm most proud of with this year's 12 Tags is that I didn't buy ONE thing specifically for the tags!  Nope!  I managed to stay away from the craft stores, both local and online.  Because mostly, when I've done this in the past, and trust me I have, I'll buy something for the 12 tags and then never use it again.  This year proved that you CAN make beautiful tags that are slightly, or in some cases, not-so-slightly different than Tim's, have a TON of fun doing it, and not spend a lot of extra money in the process!  CHA is around the corner and I'm quite sure there will be lots of new things I'll want... saving my $$$ for that!

It's been nice blogging every day (sometimes more than once a day) for the last 12 days... but I expect that trend will not continue for a while... I've got a lot to do to get ready for Christmas, and lots of things going on at work, so.... until next time... happy crafting! 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the joy of this year's 12 Tags...

~ ellen.

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Some Dimension!


This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show has me really excited... I've been wanting to tackle a Configurations project for a *long* time, and this has given me the perfect opportunity!  I've done some printer's trays and ATC trays, which gives a little bit of extra dimension, but the Configurations boxes give you a LOT of room to work with!  It's a little overwhelming at first, but once you start thinking "outside the box" (hahaha... bad pun...) the world becomes full of Configurations possibilities!  And off we go...

I started with a medium configurations, and rather than leaving all the boxes inside the frame, I took 4 out and attached them on either side.  
I used christmas kraft resist paper, seasonal paper from Tim Holtz, tissue tape, and 7 gypsies antique brass corners to line and wrap the piece.  Tim Holtz has 2 excellent videos on Configurations, and they saved me a ton of time trying to figure them out.... hope it helps you!  They will definitely get you started and take some of the mystery out of Configurations.
Then I had to fill it with lots of yummy embellishments and knick-knacks.  But where to start?  Well... I made a few really cool discoveries... 1st... ornaments sold for *mini* Christmas trees will fit in a Configurations compartment!  Like the snowflake and stocking below...
2nd... and this was really fun... my husband is a model train fanatic and has drawers and drawers full of mini sized things for his train boards.  I raided the mini fence/gate, reindeer, both the large and small snowy pine trees, lamp posts, mail/post box.


I hope you have a chance over the holidays to tackle a Configurations project - it's a great challenge, and can be used for any theme or occasion - let your imagine run wild!  And have FUN!

But remember... you don't have to tackle a project this big to join in this weeks challenge - any project with some dimension is great!  Maybe you want to try one of Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas, using that fab new pine cone die!  Just have a good time.  As always, Simon Says Stamp is offering up a $50 shopping spree if you join in and link your project on the challenge blog! 

See you soon!

~ ellen.

December 11, 2011

Holly Jolly.... Tag #11


Well, I survived my busy day yesterday - had a lovely visit with my Mom and got to see the amazing train layout at the community where she lives.  Jack was in *heaven* !! Then I headed out to pick up my nieces... they were kind enough to come with me to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (they're 14 and 16 yrs old, so you can imagine it was a real struggle for them to come along... NOT! LOL!) We had an awesome time, and all really liked the movie - we all agreed that we wanted to see *more* of the honeymoon part... heehee!

And this morning there was another gorgeous tag from Tim Holtz waiting for us!  I can't believe we're already up to Tag 11, which means... so sadly... tomorrow will be the grand finale of this years 12 Tags of Christmas.  I've really enjoyed ALL of the tags this year, and mostly enjoyed the process of making something every day!  Here we go with tag #11... LOTS of differences from Tim's...

I absolutely loved the shrink plastic/UTEE idea, so I latched on to that part right away.  However... I wasn't feeling inspired with the bright/retro colors Tim used, and I didn't have the Santa or the greeting he used, so I just went in a totally different direction...

For my background, I used the woodgrain texture fade embossing folder.  I inked the whole tag with antique linen DI first, then inked the folder with brushed corduroy DI and ran it through the Vagabond.  After that I inked the whole tag again with frayed burlap DI  to blend the colors a bit more.  Then I smeared a thin layer of rock candy distress stickles over the entire tag and set it aside to dry.

As I said... I loved the shrink plastic idea, so I used Tim's technique from the video for the holly leaves and branch.  I took it a step further and added some white acrylic paint and picket fence distress stickles to the edges for a snowy look.  I also used the idea an earlier tag for the berries - pearl baubles with red pepper alcohol ink, set into the leaves with a hot glue gun.

I loved the shiny holly leaves so much that I decided to do a BIG version, too!  I die cut the branch and leaves out of grungeboard, painted with gold paint dabber, and then alcohol inked with lettuce and pesto inks.  They gave each leaf two heavy coats of UTEE (not in the melt pot... just used embossing ink first, then 2 coats of UTEE melted with a heat gun).

Here's another shot which shows the beautiful shine of the UTEE leaves.

So that gets us through the main tag.... however... I also did the mini tags shown on Tim's blog, too!  I die cut a whole load of images out of shrink plastic, coated them in UTEE in the melt pot, and alcohol inked them.  As Tim said, after the alcohol ink is dried, it helps to give a coat of a light colored paint to the back so the alcohol ink really "pops". I decided to use GOLD paint and this gives a GORGEOUS metallic sheen, similar to the metallic ornaments with made with facets yesterday... Here's the results - lots of pics....

And here's the weathered clock die... all shrunk down... this one was REALLY tricky... so many little holes that the UTEE just pooled in... so after the initial coat of UTEE dried, I used my heat gun to re-heat and get the excess UTEE to melt away - PERFECT!

I layered the clock on top of the gears to see what it would look like... not bad!  Didn't glue it down (yet), but I like it!

Well... that's day 11 folks!  Can't wait to see what Tim comes up with for Day 12!  Stay tuned!

~ ellen.

December 10, 2011

Believe... Tag #10

Good morning!

Ooooooh.... I'm definitely a morning crafter... no doubt about it!  Give me a cuppa coffee and I'm ready to go!  Up and at 'em early with Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas - tag #10... here mine...

Made more substitutions with this tag... Rather than the Christmas Carol music background that Tim used, I used the generic music background - no big difference there.  Then I had to use the mini holly stamp rather than the full size one.  I just stamped it a few times and embossed as usual.

I love the way these vintage foil ornaments turned out!  Who would think to use packing tape and foil tape for image transfers... Tim would, that's who! Brilliant! Love this!

I added some black archival over the painted gold letters to tone them down a bit and give a little more contrast with the tag and banner.

I couldn't be bothered with more greenery so I just did 3 ornaments instead of 2.... gotta keep this brief ... busy day ahead... visit with Mom and then off to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1!  (Team Edward, by the way... I'm just sayin'... Jacob's no slouch, but Edward is such a romantic... *swoon*... yeah, I know... but I just love it...)

Have a great day!  See you tomorrow for Tag #11!  Can't believe it's almost over... boohoo....

~ ellen.

December 9, 2011

Peace and Light... Tag #9


Back again, a little late tonight, with tag #9 from Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas.  Maybe it's because it's the end of the work week, but tonight's tag really gave me a fit!  It worked out in the end, but it took forever to move from one step to the next... I must be tired...  TGIF!  Here's my rendition...

Once again, had to make several substitutions today... of course I didn't have the background stamp that Tim used, since it's yet to be released by Hero Arts - but it's a beauty and I'll probably *need* to have it! So I decided to use Tim's flourishes embossing folder for the double embossing technique.  I used Colorbox Chalk in (soft green) to pre-ink the folder, then embossed the tag with the Vagabond, then used clear embossing powder per Tim's instructions.  Did use festive berries distress ink for the second round of inking and clear embossing, per Tim.

Die cut the candlestick and embellished same as Tim, but had to substitute for the festive greenery again.  Used the autumn gatherings die, mini flourish mover & shaper die, and some gold pinecones I cut off some floral picks.

Close up of the pinecones/greenery.  I tried and tried to get the lacey trim into the picture, but it just wasn't working for me tonight... so moved on without it.

And, finally, I didn't have the letters or the flourish for the words, so used alpha parts and a very old mini flourish from a grungeboard set I've had for... well... a very long time...

Oh, and if you look at the top picture, I added some detailing with a black pearl pen (Viva) across the top of the tag... it needed something to separate that blank space from the texture of the rest of the tag.  I love my pearl pens!

Love the rusted enamel technique, and I think I like it even better with some additional texture from the embossing folder.  Off to check out Mario's BTS and then head off to bed.  Busy day tomorrow - lunch and a visit with Mom, and then taking my nieces to see the new Twilight movie!  (OK... I'll be honest... I was in desperate search for fellow squealers/swooners, and Jack has *no* interest in these movies... so they (happily) agreed to come with me.... my treat of course.... I love being an Aunt!  :)

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back with tags 10 and 11 over the weekend at some point.  Til then...

~ ellen.

December 8, 2011

Have a Very (Steampunk) Christmas? - Tag #8

Hello again!

Another STUNNER from Tim! Today's tag from Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas is definitely my favorite so far... It's not a traditional Christmas theme or style, but there are lots of layers and components and I just think it's *stunning*!  Off we go... here's my tag...

I followed along really closely with Tim's style and instructions on this one... as my stash permitted.   Used same inks and stamps on the background.

No changes or substitutions on the gear section - LOVE that there are FIVE layers to this element! Awesome.... and that mini bow... I never think to make a bow but it's the perfect addition.

On the steampunk men, I had to make a few changes... I didn't have #25 in my plaquette stash, and really no other number would do, so I substituted some metal foliage/flowers painted with red pepper and juniper paint dabbers.  Then there were those teeny tiny itsy bitsy holly leaves that Tim cut out for each of the top hats... I tried... really.... more than once... too tiny... didn't work for me... so xmas red stickles across the brims of their hats was the best I could do...

Decided to do some holly leaves after all, but used the mover and shaper die to cut these two (much larger) holly leaves out, painted with lettuce paint dabber, gave them a light dabbing of rock candy distress stickles, and added some more xmas red stickles for the holly berries.

Didn't have the mini labels Tim used, so made my own.  Stamped the "admit one" on the back of an Adage Ticket and used a very small paint brush to paint red pepper around the edges.  Not a bad impersonation...

One final look at this steam-punky-licious-ness... This is a style I'm not comfortable creating myself, but to see how Tim does it... love to copy it! 

Have a great night - see you tomorrow!  TGIF!

~ ellen.

December 7, 2011

Seventh Heaven....

Hello again!

I think I must be setting some sort of consecutive days of blogging record here.... but here I am again! Today I'm coming to you from a much different perspective... the last two tags I wasn't gung-ho about at the beginning, but challenged myself to make it my own and in the end I loved the results.... however...

Today, I woke up and saw Tim's Tag #7 and LOVED IT!!!  In my mind today's tag is the most quintessentially "Tim" (like I'm some expert... NOT... but for me.... this is the style that drew me to Tim's products from the beginning)... and here's my version...

I stayed almost completely with Tim's instructions this time... from the distress stain background, stamps used, kraft glassine with alcohol ink, and embossed greeting...

Where I ran into trouble was with the bunched up lace... didn't have anything but lace trim... I tried and tried to make it look right, but it just didn't work for me... So instead of forcing the issue, I decided to add a mini rosette to the bottom corner of the tag.  I like the way it turned out, and give some balance with the black rosette center to the black greeting at the top.

 Thanks for stopping by!  I'm determined to keep doing these each day and I'm having so much fun doing it!  See you tomorrow!

~ ellen.