Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Tag–Sparkly Stocking

IMG_3034Stocking tag w border

Background: Tim Holtz Kraft Resist Christmas Memories, stained with Tarnished Brass Distress Stain and adhered to black tag. Edges inked with Vintage Photo.

Stocking: Cricut December 25 cartridge, cut from chip board, painted with Red Pepper Paint Dabber, covered with Glue n Seal and generously coated with Martha Stewart Garnet Glitter. Top of stocking: painted with white acrylic paint, covered with Glue N Seal, and covered with Rock Candy Dry Stickles. Gold edge on stocking top: painted with Gold Paint Dabber and dotted with Rock Candy Stickles.

Flourish: Movers & Shapers Die, cut from grunge board and painted with Gold Paint Dabber, tipped with Rock Candy Stickles.

Ribbon: Stained with Festive Berries Distress Ink..

Sentiment stamped with Distress Embossing Ink onto Tim kraft paper and heat embossed with Ranger Fine Black Embossing Powder. Edges inked with Vintage Photo.

Participating in these challenges:

Simon Says Stamp Challenge (showcasing Martha Stewart products).

Anything But a Card Challenge (inspiration photo, pulling out the gold of the sand and the red of the umbrella).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Tag–Joy to the World!

joy to the world white 3 w border

I took inspiration for this tag from the Frilly and Funkie Blog.

This was one of my favorite tags to make, as I really love working with the metal foil tape. For the background, I used a combination of Distress Inks and Distress Stains (Faded Jeans and Stormy Sky, with a bit of Brushed Pewter and Picket Fence stain here and there). Then I heat embossed (with Ranger Silver) some pine branches and snowflakes from Tim’s Mini Holidays stamp set. I added some snowflakes stamped in Faded Jeans.

The ornament (heavy card stock covered with foil tape) was dry embossed with the snowflakes folder. I used a small brush to paint the raised snowflakes with Denim Alcohol Ink.

The letters for “joy” were covered with Glossy Accents.

The ribbon is seam binding stained with Faded Jeans, accompanied by some of Tim’s new tinsel twine (also across the bottom).

Perhaps the funnest part of this tag was in finding the “Joy to the World” music. Being a pianist, there is no shortage of sheet music in my house. But, I happened to spy one of the little Christmas books I always put out (mostly from years past) at this time of year. This one is called “Christmas Carols.” It is a Little Golden Book, and inside where it says “This book belongs to,” I have hand-printed in primary manuscript “Mark.” (I likely bought it when he was 7; I was teaching kindergarten that year, and that’s when I learned to print manuscript!!) One of the Christmas Carols in this book is “Joy to the World.” I copied the page—didn’t even have to reduce it. So, this tag includes a sentimental memory for me!

Here’s how it looks on the “tag tree.”

joy to the world tag on tree w border

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Mood

What a wonderful Thanksgiving we had! I do not really do anything with/about Halloween, so I basically spend all of the fall thinking about Thanksgiving. So, then, by the time Thanksgiving is actually over, as soon as the Thanksgiving guests have departed and the kitchen is all squared away, I’m ready to start Christmas—get out the Christmas coffee mugs and prepare to decorate! I am willing to wait until Friday morning to actually begin the work (my husband thanks me). And, NO, I DO NOT participate in Black Friday real-store shopping.

tree decorating day

Already had coffee in my favorite Christmas mug—now mid-morning of tree-decorating day (Friday)—Hot Cocoa! Getting this year’s Christmas tags ready to put on lower level tree.

By Saturday morning, we had all three of our trees up and all the house read for Christmas. In the midst of the decorating, I started the online Christmas shopping, taking full advantage of all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales (MANY hours, but at least my feet weren’t killing me).

So, I’m pretty much worn out at this point, but I’m ready for the Christmas Season!


Great Room (Upper Level)


The Music Room (front window, Upper Level)

lower level tree

Lower Level Family Room (where my teddy bears and dolls reside during the Christmas season). This is also my “Tag Tree” (close-up pictures will be forthcoming).

Thanksgiving at Our Home

We had such a very special Thanksgiving, complete with our traditional menu (same every year, by demand….uh…request). All 10 of us were here, and that alone was enough to make it special!

Pies are ready


L to R: Conner, Tory, Alyssa, James (SIL), Sharida, Kristy (DIL), Mark, and Russell


Mamo’s Grandkids are growing up way too fast!



Roast Turkey
Homemade Dressing
Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Wild Rice Casserole
Buttered Corn
Kristy’s Sweet Potato Souffle
Sharida’s Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Overnight Lettuce Salad
Homemade Dinner Rolls
Iced Tea
Autumn Gold Pumpkin Pie w/whipped cream
Pecan Pie


Sassi loves Dawson!


Mamo particularly likes the turkey feather that says “God” as one of the things Dawson is thankful for!

The highlight of our time together is our “thankful for” time, when we, like many other families, “go around the table” and tell what we are thankful for, making sure to give glory to God for all His wonderful blessings! It is always an extremely emotional time at our table, but, as one family member mentioned, one of the things we are thankful for is that we can have “real” conversations as a family. This has been a challenging year for many of us, in many ways, but we are thankful that Our God is big enough to cover it all!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Tag–O Holy Night

o holy night 5 w border

Love this tag as it exemplifies the real meaning of Christmas, the coming of The Messiah.

o holy night 2 w border

o holy night 3 w border

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Tag–Toy Soldier by the Tree

toy soldier and tree tag w border

I am having so much fun with Christmas tags! I just counted—looks like I have made 11 tags in 9 days, with a couple of art journal pages in there as well! Yep, a busy but happy crafter of late. It’s good to have this much done, as the day after Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas shopping (mostly online) nonstop for some weeks!

I made this tag this morning and then worked the rest of the day with Thanksgiving Dinner preparations:

Autumn Gold Pumpkin Pie – CHECK
Pecan Pie – CHECK
Wild Rice Casserole – CHECK
Overnight Lettuce Salad – CHECK
Table Set and Serving Dishes Ready – CHECK

Dinner is tomorrow at 1, so the turkey goes in at 7 a.m. My favorite thing to make for Thanksgiving is my own made up Stuffing (do not actually stuff the turkey, so I guess it’s more Dressing than Stuffing)!

This tag was just fun because of its simplicity, I think. I particularly enjoyed combining Graphic 45 (Nutcracker Sweet) and Tim Holtz and my Cricut.

I covered a #8 manila tag with Christmas March paper (Nutcracker Sweet). I distressed the edges and inked them with Vintage Photo.

For the Christmas tree, I used my new Cricut cartridge “December 25th” that I bought specifically because it has images I could envision on tags. For the tree, I used some “real” chipboard for the first time (I have always used cut up cereal boxes)—I have a crafting friend in Alaska who was kind enough to send me this chipboard. I love the chipboard because I can cut it on my Cricut (I have tons of Tim’s grunge board and grunge paper, but it doesn’t do well with the Cricut). I inked the tree with Distress Ink (Pine Needles on the tree, Walnut Stain on the trunk, and Vintage Photo on the edges), topped the star with Gold Paint Dabber and then spritzed it all with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist.

The little toy soldier is adorable—it’s my newest Tim Holtz die. Using my Vagabond, I cut it from grunge paper. It has several pieces, and I inked or painted or colored each piece to combine for the finished toy. Though you can’t see the dimension in the photo, I popped him up on the tag with black foam tape. Probably the most fun thing I discovered was that I could do intricate “inking” using a nib with the Black Soot Distress Ink.

The little postcard is from the Nutcracker Collection. The ribbon is from Really Reasonable Ribbon.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Two Christmas Tags–Blueprint Toy Soldier and Blueprint Snowman

toy soldier blueprint tag w border

Copy cat, copy cat! That’s me. I directly tag-lifted this project from Donna at From My Art 2 Yours. I was absolutely smitten by her work, and when I found her blog,  I had been wondering exactly how I would use my blueprint stamps from Tim Holtz.

I will explain my process, but again, I was using Donna’s ideas!

On the manila tag, I stamped the Toy Soldier Blueprint Stamp with Distress Embossing Ink and then heat embossed it with Ranger fine black embossing powder. I already loved the look. Then I used the Perfect Pearls Palette technique (from Tim) to paint the little soldier. Having stamped a separate “edition” of the little guy, I cut around that stamped image, just around the soldier himself. I used that as a mask over the painted image, while I inked the background with Wild Honey, Squeezed Lemonade, and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks. I used the little holly leaves stamp from Tim’s Mini Holidays 2 stamp set, inked with Brushed Corduroy, to stamp several times on the background. I misted the entire tag with Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls mist (keeping the little mask over the image). I inked the edges of the tag with Walnut Stain, added a seam binding ribbon (stained with the same colors as the background) and a muse token.

snowman blueprint tag w border

The Snowman Tag was made with the very same process, using these colors/stamps:

Background: Faded Jeans, Iced Spruce, Salty Ocean
Background snowflake stamp: Tim Holtz Mini Holidays 3
Perfect Pearls Mist: Turquoise

What is funny to me is that both tags started with a #8 manila tag, and I did nothing to color the snowman. It may be the camera lighting, but the toy soldiers face and the snowman should technically be the same color. Maybe that cool blue just made the snowman look white. Anyway, it makes me happy.

Once again, I have the frustration of the “sparkly” not showing up, but that’s okay, they’ll be sparkly on my tree!

Christmas Tag–Jingle all the Way!

Jingle All the Way Tag w border

This one was really fun, as I sort of made it up as I went along. I wanted to create a marbled stain background using Picket Fence and Tarnished Brass. That done, I was looking for a good excuse to try the new Sticky Embossing Powder and Cinnamon Distress Dry Stickles, so this background seemed the perfect opportunity. I used the big flourish stamp from Tim Holtz.

cinnamon glitter swirl w border

I had a grunge board die cut reindeer left over from a previous project. He asked to be placed on the marbled brass, cinnamon-y background. But first, I stained him with Antiqued Bronze and then with Tarnished Brass. After applying a coat of Glue n Seal, I covered the reindeer with Clear Rock Candy Dry Stickles.

The wire ribbon (pleated along the bottom) and the jingle bells are from my stash.

I’m kind of liking monochromatic sometimes.

It was only after adding all  the elements that I decided on the sentiment. I like it!

Always frustrating to photograph anything with shine, but this side view gives a little better look, especially if you click on it to enlarge.

jingle all the way side view w border

Jingle bells, Jingle bells!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Carols Tag

christmas carols tag with flourish w border

Sometimes “simple” appeals more to me than complex, involved, and complicated. I learned this background technique last year with Tim’s 12 Tags of Christmas—used Picket Fence Stain on the Kraft Resist paper. I stained the leaves and berries with Pine Needles and Festive Berries Distress Inks, using a nib brushed across the ink pads.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Tag–Snowy Winter

Snowman w border

For the background on this manila tag, I applied Distress Stains randomly, directly to the tag: Brushed Pewter, Tumbled Glass, Picket Fence, and Weathered Wood.

I used the Dylusions Let it Snow Stencil and Perfect Pearls White Opal for the snowflakes. The grunge snowman was painted with white acrylic and then sprinkled with Rock Candy Dry Stickles while the paint was still damp. The edges of the snowman were inked with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain and Weathered Wood Distress Ink. The seam binding was stained with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain and Tumbled Glass Distress Stain.

For the bottom of the tag, I ruched the brushed pewter-stained seam binding.

ruched seam binding

Grateful Heart Art Journal Page

grateful heart journal 5 w border

This page in my Inspiration Journal is an expression of my thoughts this Thanksgiving season. I was inspired by artful evidence for the techniques used here.. There is a lot of “sheen” on this page that doesn’t show in the photo, and that’s always frustrating for me. The harlequin pattern (from a mounted stamp, difficult to use on wonky journal pages!) is especially stunning in real life (using Lumiere Metallic Acrylic, Halo Blue Gold).

Grateful Heart side view w border

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Tag—A Wintry Merry Christmas

merry christmas deer w border

Another tag inspired by Tim, I think. I’m starting to get my own ideas confused with all the inspiration I have seen in so many other places! I do know this tag started with dry embossing with the Tall Pines texture fade, with the flourish stamped with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink in the negative space. The little deer was cut from grunge board and then dry embossed (snowflake texture fade), inked with Tumbled Glass and then sanded and edges inked with Frayed Burlap and dabbed with white paint. I used Forest Moss Distress Ink with a nib to color in the raised pine trees.

The speckle stamp is one of my favorites, and I used it to apply gold flecks (Gold Paint Dabber).

I love the soft look of the Tumbled Glass, used to ink some of the background as well as to stain the ribbon.