Thursday, December 31, 2009


My complete set of tags from Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. What a blast it was making these - can't wait for next year!

Tim's Tag - Day 12 - Finally!!

I was chugging along so well with Tim's tags, until Day 12. It fell on a Saturday and I had a party to go to. Well, after that it was just one thing after another and I didn't get a chance to work on this until Christmas was completely over! I'm so glad I did it though - the Grungepaper roses are a little challenging, but lots of fun. You can tell I was challenged...there is only one rose! I cheated on the second one and just covered the Grungepaper with some vintage French paper and called it good. I do love the look of the sanded edges on that one! I also added a little faux metal flower that I made using the technique I posted here.

For my background I used the Metallic Pop technique from the latest Technique Junkie newsletter. I finished it with ribbon from RockCandy Studios.

I also wanted to show you how I store my Mini Misters. I found this flower frog at an estate sale a couple years ago. I had it sitting on my table just because it looks so cool. One day I had my misters out and..........

It's probably a good thing that I don't have too many. I don't think it would be practical if I had more than a few. I do love how it looks for my small collection.

I would like to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. I hope your worries are few and your inspired, art-filled days are many!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tag Tuesday - Shaped Tag

This week's Tag Tuesday challenge was to make a shaped tag. I have been wanting to make a little Christmas stocking ever since these Oxford Impressions stamps were released. Of course, while I was ruminating on the design, the amazing Elizabeth Shea made one and I was like - man, if I do one now, I will look like such a copycat! I guess enough time has passed and I feel ok to make my own, lol. Check out Elizabeth's (as well as a lot of other amazing artist's work here.

While you're drooling over all that art, I hope you are inspired to make some of your own. Suzanne, the owner of Oxford Impressions is having a Christmas card contest and you still have plenty of time to enter! Head on over to Suzanne's blog to get all the details. Good luck!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 11 + Tag Tuesday

I can't believe there is just one day to go! I will really miss this challenge - it was a great way to try new things and use supplies that hadn't seen the light of day in awhile.

I must confess....I didn't really like today's tag. I have seen the brad maker before and wasn't very impressed with the results. For my style of stamping, it just doesn't really have a place. I am also not a big gadget person - things like this seem to get used right when you get them, and then slowly make their way into a closet or drawer, never to be seen again.

Ok, enough of my opinions! Go buy the brad maker! You'll love it! ;-)

My tag was basically done the same as Tim's with a few changes. First, I created my tag using the Watercolor Distress technique from the Feb/Mar 07 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. I don't have the reindeer stamp so I embossed a Grungeboard bird with white embossing powder and then painted over it with maroon paint. When it was dry I wiped it carefully to reveal the embossing. It was a little boring so I covered it with glitter. I totally discarded the idea of covering brads and instead, glittered up some velvet flowers I found at Michaels and layered them with a white flower. 'Peace' stamp is from Fancy Pants (as is the flourish on the bird) and is embossed with white ep. The other stamps used are from Oxford Impressions and Inkadinkado.

When I was deciding on a color palette I thought of Louise's Tag Tuesday challenge and thought the colors of blue, green, and wine would be perfect!

Wow, on another note - those of you who use Blogger, did you notice the new composer? How cool that you can make pics bigger?! I have always been frustrated by the size restrictions. Very cool improvement!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Theme Thursday - Vintage

I haven't been stamping much for the past few months. Not sure why, I think sometimes I just need a total creative break so that I can recharge. The only problem is - sometimes you can stay away so long that you get out of the habit! Following along as Tim Holtz creates his 12 Tags has gotten me back in the studio and back to doing what I love the most - stamping and playing with techniques.

Today's Theme Thursday challenge is Vintage. Well, not sure I do anything that isn't vintage, lol! I never really think about it, it's just my style. I don't even think of it as vintage. Anyway.....I am madly in love with the Metallic Pop technique from the latest issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. Doesn't that background look like embossed metal? Too cool! I added a photo stamp from Oxford Impression's April in Paris collection, and some gorgeous trim from RockCandy Studios. Do you see the little Tim touch? I used the faux eyelet technique on the brad that's attaching the flower. Love that trick!

Tim's Tag 10

This was another fun tag! I was feeling very lazy and really liked his example, so I pretty much copied Tim's exactly. The main difference is I used metal tape from my friends at RockCandy Studios. It was just a bit shy of the full width, so I added little strips to the edges.

I didn't have the pens so I just used alcohol inks, a little alcohol, and a paintbrush. I think it worked just fine! I used a black Copic marker to do little stitches since I didn't have the stapler. They look much less dorky in real life! For some reason they really stand out in the pic.

I will share one tip that my friend Cyndi had: We were discussing the tag and she said, of course you can use your Cuttlebug to do the embossing. I was like - !!!! - I had totally forgotten about using it to do the smooshing. I shimmed it up with about three pieces of fun foam and it worked great. I did a tiny bit of detailing with my stump, but most of it was done with the CB. Great tip Cyndi!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 9

Such a fun tag today, but so many things I didn't have! I think that's what made it fun for me. Here is what I didn't have, and what I did to make it work:

Film Strip Ribbon - To make my own film strip, I stamped Tim's film stamp repeatedly on acetate using black Stazon ink. I trimmed it and put the pictures behind it as shown on Tim's blog.

Metal Flower
- I used my Martha Stewart hydrangea punch (love this punch!) and punched two flowers out of red cardstock. I brushed them with copper paint and then with walnut Distress ink. I bent the petals and coated them with a light layer of Diamond Glaze. For the center I punched out a flower (daisy punch) and then trimmed off the petals. I painted that gold and brushed it with walnut ink. Assembled using a brad. Isn't that faux eyelet tech cool??

Metal Numbers
- I used my Slice to cut the numbers from cardstock. Then I covered them with aluminum tape from RockCandy Studios and sanded them to make them dull. I sponged with a little black Stazon to give them an aged look.

Typewriter Keys
- I punched the letters from a sheet of scrapbook paper and then glued them to little wood disks. I used the bent part of a paper clip for the jump ring. When it was dry I covered the edges with silver embossing powder and embossed. Then I added clear ep over the top. Should have done that in the reverse! Next time....

Dymo Tape
- I am out of black tape, so I tried black cardstock. I didn't like the look so I used this font and printed it on photo paper.

The background stamp I used is from Oxford Impressions' Paris Poste collection.

Whew! That was a lot of improvising, but I feel like I learned so much, which is why I LOVE these tags!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 8

Today's tag required a LOT of reworking before I was happy with it. I didn't have the lantern stamp that Tim used, so like last year, I substituted the Eiffel Tower. This time I used a stamp from Prima. I love this stamp because it is giant! It fit perfectly on the tag.

I felt like there was something missing in the example - it didn't feel cohesive to me. I thought maybe adding some texture to the tag would help, so I brushed on Antique Linen crackle paint and inked it all with Antique Linen ink when it was dry.

Oh, and I don't know about anyone else, but when I tried to heat my vellum it bubbled up! I tried a couple different sheets and it was the same on both. I ended up using a sheet of sandwich paper (like they use in delis). It was a bit lighter texture-wise, but it ended up working just fine. I felt like it looked too plain so I tied it with a bit of string that I saved from a bag of cat food - it was so cool, I knew it would come in handy some day. :-)

All in all I was happy with how this one turned out!

*FYI, the music background stamp is from Oxford Impressions, but is currently not available.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 7

Lots going on in today's tag. A little too much for me to be honest! I am pretty happy with how this came out though. I adore this Santa stamp from the new Oxford Impressions St. Nicholas collection. I think he really 'makes' the tag. The music and snowflakes are also from OI.

I had trouble with the white paint absorbing the Distress ink. I also had a hard time getting the black ink to come off of it. Finally I decided to just leave it alone. If I'd had more energy I would have started over and used the Faux Designer Paper technique from the Dec 08 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. I think it would have worked much better for me!

I changed it a bit by adding my favorite French border trim from RockCandy Studios. Since my Santa had fairly straight edges, it looked a little weird just floating in the middle of the tag. I think the trim helps set the image off.

Thanks everyone, for your comments on my previous tags. I hope everyone is having as much fun with these as I am!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 5 & 6

Ok, I'm back from Indiana (what a nice place!) and back on track with my tags. As usual, I didn't have most of the right stuff to make the tags, but since improvising is so much fun, I didn't mind at all!

I have to say, I even went to the store this time but they didn't have the right fragments! I think it is really hard to duplicate the look of them - they give so much depth and are so clear. I decided to try and work with the shapes I did have and I think it came out pretty good! I thought these photos would be perfect on my tag. They are actually gift tags that I found at a store recently. They were so adorable....I knew I would find a use for them.

I did the rest of the tag pretty much exactly like Tim's. I decided on the blue and green color scheme when I chose to use the tags. It reminds me of the time my dad did our tree all in blue and green ornaments - it was so pretty! The branch stamp is from Artistic Outpost. After I embossed it with the Distress ep, I rubbed a little silver metallic paint over it. It kind of gave it a nice highlighted effect. The music stamp is from Oxford Impressions.

The German scrap trim is from my friends at RockCandy Studios. They have a fantastic selection of trims. They also carry the metallic rub ons, which I used on my branch, and also to highlight the raised portion of the trim.

I thought tag #6 was going to be impossible, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had the perfect stamps! I knew right away that I would use this truck stamp from Artistic Outpost. I think I've actually seen someone use it this way before. Isn't it the most perfect stamp? I used a PSX tree stamp for the tree and various acrylic stamps for the rest.

I made my own snow by rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together to shred it. I got the idea from this video on making your own flower soft. She's a genius! I added a sprinkle of Martha Stewart glitter to make it sparkle. It sparkled a lot more before I got impatient and started putting it together before it dried.

Here is a little freebie for you. The wooden number piece on my tag is an old French game piece that I found at an estate sale. It was one of those fantastic finds - an old French tin that everyone had overlooked. I picked it up thinking that the tin was cool in itself. I opened it and it was FILLED with dozens of the pieces. What a find! They are really thick and would be hard to use on something like a tag. However, you can print it out, glue it to a scrap of Grungeboard and voila - vintage game piece!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 4

I think today's tag was the easiest - IF you had all the stuff! If you didn't, it was a little harder to improvise. I am supposed to be getting ready to leave for Indiana in,! LOL! But I wanted to hurry up and post this.

I only had the larger Memory Frames. I had no bubble thingies. I had no cool metal corners. My Memory Frame only had one jump ring. Sooooo.....I used the larger frame. I tried to use a piece from an Ideaologies package for my bubble. Great idea! But it didn't really work so I chucked it. For my 'roof' I used a corner of a die cut (thanks Cyndi!) that I covered with aluminum tape from RockCandy Studios and then aged with Stazon. I used a clip from the Stampin Up hardware set for my attachment.

All of the background stamps are from Oxford Impressions. The stamp in the frame (isn't it just perfect?) is from Innovative Stamp Creations.

Thanks for stopping by! I am off to throw some socks and a hairbrush (seriously, I am horrible at packing) in a bag and hit the road! xoxoxoxo

Technique Junkies November Treasure Hunt!

Hello Junkies! I hope you're enjoying this month's Technique Junkie Treasure Hunt. If you have arrived here without first visiting the Design Junkies blog, make sure you go back and start there. At each of the Design Team member's blogs you will be collecting letters that you will put together to spell out a word that you will post on Pat Huntoon's blog. She has a fantastic prize package this month, you will not be disappointed!

My card uses the Metallic Pop technique from the Dec/Jan newsletter. This is such a versatile technique that adds a lot of depth and shimmer to your backgrounds (unfortunately my scanner has a horrible time capturing the shine!). The stamps I've used are from a wonderful holiday plate by Innovative Stamp Creations.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are busy making lots of cards and artwork using the new Technique Junkie techniques! Your next stop is Jane's blog - I know you will love what she has created for you.

Your letter for this stop is:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 3

Another cool tag today with a technique I've never tried. I love this alcohol ink plaid! It is just too cool. Again, I was missing quite a few of the elements Tim used, but I found some good workarounds. First, I don't have black alcohol ink. I was ok with that though, because I knew I wanted a lighter, kind of shabby chic look and black stripes would definitely be out of place. My plaid is more of a preppy plaid than a lumberjack plaid. :-)

The other things I didn't have were the washers and philosophy tag. For the washers, I used the same technique as I did on yesterday's flower, but I used silver and white embossing powders. The circle is a 1/2" punch from Stampin' Up. For the tag, I made it similar to the one I did here, but I added ep over the top to give it the same texture as the faux washers.

Finally, I added a stamped image from Oxford Impressions' Season of Giving collection, and finished my tag with the Drywall Stitching technique from the April/May '09 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter.

Again, I can't wait for tomorrow's tag - the first thing I do each morning is check out Tim's blog and see the new tag (ok, I also look to see if I won!). If you're following along too, please leave me a link to your blog so I can come and check out your tags!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Stamper - Santa Claus

This is a quick card I made using the Petite 4 technique from the latest Technique Junkie newsletter. I used my favorite stamps from Artistic Outpost's Snowy Woods collection, which made it perfect for the Wednesday Stamper Santa Claus theme!

Tim's Tag Day 2 + Tutorial!

Hi everyone! Today I not only made a tag - I also created a little tutorial. I don't know if any of you saw my tags last year, but there were a few times when I had what I called a 'MacGyver' moment, when I had to create something that would work in place of an item Tim used that I didn't have. I live in the boonies, 40 minutes from the nearest stamp store that carries a lot of the elements that he uses, and I am just too lazy to pop out and get I've become fairly adept at adapting.

This time the element was the rose he created by cutting apart metal flowers. I had just bought a Martha Stewart hydrangea punch last week and the gears started turning......

You will need several colors of metallic embossing powder (I used gold, black, and two kinds of silver), flower punch, VersaMark, heat gun, and tweezers.

Start by punching flowers out of black cardstock and covering with VersaMark. Then sprinkle various metallic embossing powders on flowers. Tap to remove excess.

Heat until embossing powder melts. See how cool the mixed metallics look?! If you're happy, you can move to the next step. If you'd like to add more, just dab on more VersaMark and add more ep.

When you're happy with the finish, bend each petal up and curl as shown. Do this with three flowers.

Cut one flower in half and cut one petal off another. Punch holes in the center of each flower.

Assemble using a hammered brad.

I didn't have the petals Tim used, so I embossed another Marth-punched branch using silver embossing powder. Why have I not done that 'til now? It looks really cool!

Finished tag. The scanner squished my flower a little, but I think you get the general effect. I really wanted to use Grungepaper for this, but the Martha punches are a bit on the puny side. I tried to punch and it didn't want to, so I didn't push it. I think if you have a small flower die, you could use Grungepaper and it would come out even better.

Hope this helps someone else who is embellishment-poor. Oh, and I apologize for some of the blurry pics, it's dark and overcast today so my lighting stunk!

Sentiment is from Artistic Outpost's fantastic Christmas collection.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tim's Tag Day 1

Woo hoo! It's time again for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas! I have been in a bit of a stamping slump lately and I think this is just what I needed to get myself back in the studio.

I love today's tag - what a great start! I didn't have the Rock Candy crackle stuff, so I used some old Fragile Crackle I had lying around. Not quite the same effect, but better than I thought it was going to be. I also didn't have the Distress Stickles, so I used regular Stickles and then sprinkled a bit of Martha Stewart glitter on it to make it a little more snowy looking.

Almost all my stamps are from various Oxford Impressions Christmas/Winter plates. The main image is from their latest collection - St. Nicholas. I am in love with this stamp! I would never have thought to emboss on Grungeboard and then go over it with white paint. VERY cool effect. I finished my piece with a bit of black twill tape and a snowflake charm from OI.

Hope you enjoyed my interpretation. I can't wait to see what tomorrow's tag is!


On my way to check for eggs this morning I saw all these beautiful leaves that had been edged with frost. I grabbed my camera and took this pic. Nothing like the amazing photos my mom takes, but I try!