Let your heart be light...
Lyrics from one of my favourite Christmas songs (as opposed to carols, that is)... and the perfect version, for me, is Judy Garland's from Meet Me In St Louis. As the film was made in 1944, the lyrics were altered slightly, making them very specific to families separated by the war. I've got the originals at the foot of the post - but for sheer poignancy, you can't beat Judy!
When I arranged to do a Christmas tag swap with the fabulous Trace from inkypinkycraft, that lyric came straight into my head, as I know she loves to use and to see hearts in crafting. So I made lots of differently textured hearts (some more on the back too, as you'll see) as the main feature of the tag.
Earlier today I showed you the exchange of tags in brief - check out the amazing tag Trace made me - and said I'd be around again with some more details about how I made mine, so here I am... and here's the tag I sent her.
I started with the tag background, building up layers of book text, gesso, and a bit of PaperArtsy crackle glaze with some Fresco paint to get a central streak of grungy texture.
I then used some texture paste with the Mini Antiquities stencil from Crafter's Workshop to add the raised text and key shapes in different areas on the jumbo tag.
Once the paste was dry, I built up layers of Fresco paint colour over and around it, using the techniques I'd seen Leandra of PaperArtsy demonstrating at the NEC recently.
You can see her in action on youtube - amazing videos, well worth checking out... just search PaperArtsy.
Once I was happy with the depth of colour and the layers, I applied some Treasure Gold to the lettering with my fingertips. It's such fabulous stuff for adding that antique gilding look - this is the White Fire colour.
So, to the hearts. They were cut from strong card using the Sizzix Primitive Hearts die.
Then I ran some of them through the Tim Holtz Cracked embossing folder and played with layers and washes of various paints until I got a burnished metallic look that pleased me.
Others I used the PaperArtsy crackle glaze on again, but this time I applied it with a foam pad rather than a brush.
As Leandra says, this gives you a much finer porcelain crackle effect. Once dry, I UTEE'd them, and then cracked the hard, glossy surface to give extra texture over the top of the crackle.
The third set of hearts - okay, time to reveal the reverse side of the tag - had Andy Skinner's textured rust technique applied to them for some grungy texture.
On the back of the tag I used the Mini Antiquities stencil again, but this time just blended some Gathered Twigs DI through it, straight onto the manila surface of the tag.
And regulars will recognise my trusty little £1 alphabet stamp set being pressed into action yet again. It's started to feel like my "crafty handwriting", so it's slightly weird for me to see it next to my actual handwriting!
And what would a tag be without some DI-dyed seam binding to top it off? I used Vintage Photo and some of the metallic Distress Stains smooshed onto the craft mat to get the golden tones for this.
So that's the tag, pretty much... I'll leave you with a couple of close-ups that please me, as they capture all the layers and textures colliding.
I'm so happy that Trace loved it (see her swap post here)... I couldn't have been happier with mine from her!
I'd just like to say to anyone still out there hopping, thank you so much for dropping in today, and...
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light;
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yuletide gay;
Next year all our troubles will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.
Through the years we all will be together,
If the fates allow;
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
Lyrics by Ralph Blane, Music by Hugh Martin
And for anyone who missed the previous post, this bears repeating:
This swap represents the tip of an enormous iceberg. It's hard to express how much I value this extraordinary community of crafters - the generosity, creativity and inspiration I have found here in Craftyblogland in the six months I've been at this has been truly astounding, and I am so happy to have discovered this wonderful world. I wish you and yours a peaceful and joyous festive season, and look forward to much, much more in 2013!