Monday, 17 December 2012
The Holly and the Ivy
Welcome to Words and Pictures... I'm celebrating today!
No, it's not Christmas yet, but I've got myself to the finishing line on the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas with time to spare.
In fact, I finished this tag yesterday, but wanted to wait for daylight to photograph it... and patience paid off - we have sunshine!!
If you've no idea what I'm talking about, you can check it all out here, and it's worth going to have a look just to see the extraordinary inspiration tags Linda Coughlin (yup - she's the Funkie Junkie) has been offering up... and to check out the amazing entries too.
As for qualifying for the prize draw, generously sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique - well, you have to have all 12 done and posted by midnight (U.S. Eastern time) tonight so, to be honest, unless you can manage one tag an hour...
So, it's my last tag, but it's not the 12th. I did that one a couple of days ago... No, I'm finishing on number 11. Check out Linda's original here - it's absolutely gorgeous and, although I've wandered wide and far with some of my tags, I wanted to stick quite close to this beauty.
So my background is done very similarly, but I've chosen to use a music stamp rather than text (and I don't have the same flourish stamp).
And I've used lots of holly leaves, made like Linda's, but what I've done with them is slightly different.
I loved Linda's colour palette, and I seem to be having something of an obsession with neutrals just at the moment, so I stuck to it, inking the background with vintage photo over the clear embossed flourish (TH), and Black Archival music manuscript (Wow).
Most of the leaves, branches and flourishes are cut out of white card using the Tim Holtz Festive Greenery Decorative Strip Die.
They've been edged with vintage photo, (fingertips still looking like those of a hardened smoker), and laid out in little festive bouquets around the tag.
But if you say holly to me, it automatically triggers "and the ivy" - not only because of the carol, but because ivy is my absolute favourite of the Christmas foliage choices - pretty much my favourite all year round, in fact.
I love the long traily tiny-leaved sort; I love the big branches of more rounded leaves.
One of my tasks each year around this time is to create the Christmas vases - great branches of holly and ivy, decorated very minimally and stowed around the house to bring Christmas into as many corners as possible. So I can't have holly without ivy...
When we were at The Range recently, I hesitated over whether to buy some Das, the air-drying clay (hadn't used it for literally decades), and what decided me was spotting - in the baking section - some little ivy punches, a set of 3 in various sizes, intended for decorating cakes.
They not only cut out the leaves, but have a press which debosses the little lines onto them too. Well, I don't really do cake-icing, but I couldn't see any reason why they wouldn't work with the Das - so it stayed in the basket, and they joined it. And here's my first little go... and I LOVE them!!
I rolled out the clay - using a thick straw as my rolling pin! - and cut and punched to my heart's delight.
I'd bought white Das, so once the leaves had dried (I did help it along with the heat tool - sheer impatience, and deadlines looming too, of course) I didn't need to do anything more than what I'd done with the card holly leaves: ink them with Vintage Photo DI. To really get the debossing to show, I went darker with the ivy than with the holly - and I love the look of them together.
The final element in the arrangements was the holly berries. These are also made of Das, inked in Vintage Photo and then given a coating of Treasure Wax, in White Fire.
Because they were quite small, it turned out the easiest way to get the wax onto them was to put some on my thumb and forefinger, and roll the berries between. My "smokers'" fingertips now have a very lustrous shimmer to them too... and you can see fingerprints on some of the berries!
By now it was clear that I wasn't going to have room to get the greeting onto the tag itself without covering up lots of loveliness that I wasn't willing to cover up.
So I decided to make it into one of the hinged tags which I first met over at Redanne's fabulous blog - I've made them several times before, and love the extra movement and interest the extended part brings to the tag.
The greetings stamp is from the Graphic 45 Christmas sets, stamped onto one of my tea-stained tags, and it's attached with two of the Idea-ology jump rings.
A couple of bits of crinkle ribbon, dyed with varying amounts of vintage photo, and I decided I was done... yup, done! If you don't believe me, look...
And if you'd like to go visiting, all the links are at the foot of this post, and you'll get to see the full dozen in all their glory. Sorry... can you tell I'm feeling quite un-Britishly pleased with myself?!
And I know I'm only playing for the fun, as I couldn't quite bring myself to work on the Christmas theme way back in September, but it has been some of the most fun I've had crafting, not to mention visiting many of the other players and seeing how they've been inspired by Linda's amazing work.
Thank you so much for visiting today (and for putting up with me in jubilant mood), and I look forward to seeing you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland!
Here's to holly and ivy hanging up, And to something wet in every cup!
I'm entering this in the following:
As Tag 11 (but did I mention it's my last one?) in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas
At Top Tip Tuesday the theme is Christmas, and I'm offering a tip: if you're working with modelling clay of any sort, be sure to check the kitchen aisle for cake-decorating tools and equipment!
Simon Says Stamp are playing What's Your Favourite? I'm sticking with stamping, embossing and neutrals
Anything But A Card are playing Celebrate the Light or Seasonal Holiday - well I celebrated the light last time around, so this time I'm going with the seasonal element
This is my third and final entry for Make a Tag at the Craft-room Challenge
Crafty Boots are also playing a Christmas theme
Out of a Hat Creations have Winter as their current challenge
ABC Challenges are on D for Deck the Halls... how about "with boughs of holly"?
At Pile It On they would like us to Pile on the Embellishments
And over at Ink on my Fingers (and how?!) Hels Sheridan has fortuitously selected Holly as the theme for the Sunday Stampers this week (with the very same post title as mine!!)
My versions of the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas;
Tag 1 - Love's Light Wings
Tag 2 - Work in Progress
Tag 3 - Dance in the Rain
Tag 4 - G is for Gingham
Tag 5 - Every leaf speaks
Tag 6 - Seeking Illumination
Tag 7 - Home Sweet Home
Tag 8 - A Romantic Postcard
Tag 9 - A heart full of love
Tag 10 - Toys, toys, toys!
Tag 11 - The Holly and the Ivy (you're already here)
Tag 12 - Star of Wonder