I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Brown and Blue Tags

Okay, normal service is resumed... we're back to the Brown and Blue!   (I will get to the last few pages of the Rose Album soon, honest!)  This is just a quick post to share some tags with you, before I get back to crafting.  Tim Holtz is so right to feel tags offer a good base to play with new techniques and explore ideas.  One of today's tags is part of the inspiration for a bigger project which is on my craft table (amidst a lot of creative mess) right now.

First, some fairly basic tags which I made as bookmarks to give away at our recent in-house book sale.

(Along with our much-beloved family home of forty years, some of the massive collection of books we've managed to accumulate between us over that time is also having to go.)

We offered them as free give-aways with every purchase and, since they have my website address on the back (not this one, but this one), they were also an advertising venture, as some of the earliest bookmarks were.  I really like the idea of continuing that tradition.

I'm afraid I don't buy the craft manila tags to work with.  I get bundles of luggage labels of all sizes by the packetful so that I don't need to be worrying about making mistakes and wasting expensive materials.  I can just go for it, and if I don't like what I've made... fine, no problem, into the bin with it.

As one of TH's stamps says: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; Art is knowing which ones to keep.  I'm not making any claims to 'Art' yet, but I'm getting good at the throwing away.

At the time, I'd just got my first Tim Holtz Perfect Pearls Mist, so I had great fun glamming up these bookmark tags with a bit of glimmer.  You can see some of it at least, I think, if you click for a close-up.  The Pearl and the Heirloom Gold are just lovely for adding a vintage gleam to a project.

I'm in love with the Kaisercraft Tic Toc clocks stamp (paired here on the left with the same company's Grunge stamp), and I also use their Script stamp constantly.  Any excuse to use the Tim Holtz pen nibs too!

Each tag was also inked on the reverse, and had a quote there too, if there wasn't one on the front.  I think these have one of my favourites:  Learn to pause... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.

I particularly like the background on this tag, partly because when you're making one of these watercolour-type backgrounds, you can set it up, but how it turns out in the end is really in the lap of the gods.  It's also one of the lovely, messy techniques, where you get your fingers and your craft mat nice and mucky (the craft mat wipes clean much more easily than my fingers do).  You can have a look at what I mean here.  

Basically you swipe some ink from two or three stamp pads direct on to your mat, spritz some water on until little droplets form, and then plonk the tag down on top of it all and move it around.

I love how this combination of Faded Jeans, Vintage Photo and Tea Dye Distress Inks turned out.  The great virtue of the Distress Inks, as TH will tell you, is that they're reactive with water, so you get lovely wicking and blending effects when they and the water interact.

I've stamped over the top with Sepia Archival Ink (which means I can choose to do another little water spritz if I want to, without it spoiling the stamped image), using one of the TH quotes, and a stamp from the utterly gorgeous Stampology Silhouette Blossoms by Katie Pertiet.

On to a more complex tag design which I made in the last few days while I was blogging about Brown and Blue, and couldn't seem to break out of the habit at all!  But this tag pleases me greatly, partly because, as I mentioned, it has provided an 'experimentation lab' of inspiration for the project I'm now working on, and also because it sort of assembled itself out of lots of things I was just playing about with and trying out.  I'm entering it for the A Trip Down Memory Lane cybercrop challenge Stamp Your Feet:
First, I had a new toy to play with: the Tim Holtz Umbrella Man die.  What can I say?... I loved the stamp, I bought the die - so sue me! 

A series of happy accidents led to his particular incarnation on this tag.  I'd been doing something with blue Distress Stains (can't remember what now, but I guess the colour is not a surprise to anyone who's been following this blog), and had lots left on the craft mat.  Not one to be wasteful of my precious stash supplies, I thought I'd try adding some Picket Fence (white, and more opaque than the other stains) to the mix, as I'd seen TH doing on a youtube clip.  You should get a more marbled effect than the usual watercolour effect, owing to the opacity of the Picket Fence.

I swiped a couple of medium-sized white tags through it, to use up the spare ink, and to set aside for future use.  One look at the summer sky effect it created, and I wanted to use it to cut my Umbrella Man out of.  I like built-in contradictions, creating a pause for thought.
So, as far as I could, I re-created the craft mat mix of Stormy Sky, Weathered Wood, a hint of Chipped Sapphire and, of course, the Picket Fence, and swiped a whole A4 sheet of white through it, as well as some off-cuts I had hanging around  from an earlier project (some things I never throw away!).
I also added a couple of spritzes of the Pearl Perfect Pearls Mist this time.  I love the sparkling raindrop effect, within a sky that is lightening to clear blue.  And, for the tag, I distressed his outside edge with (what else?) TH Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I tried really hard to take a photo that would capture the enamelling on the quote, as I'm dead chuffed with how it turned out.  I first stamped the quote in Stormy Sky with some Chipped Sapphire blended direct on to the stamp.

Then I re-stamped (lining up very carefully!) with the Versamark Watermark stamp, and applied some UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel - for those not in the know.  It took me a while to catch up with what they were talking about in the youtube clips!).  Once heated, it created that glorious three-dimensional enamel effect that gets it its well-deserved name.  As they say in certain adverts in the UK - "it does exactly what it says on the tin".

The tag itself had been used to clean up some leftover brown acrylic a few days earlier, and I now used that as the base to add Kaisercraft's Wood stamp, and ink a little extra Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain onto for the background.  I wrapped two strips of Tim Holtz (who's that, you say?) tissue tape round the tag, and added a touch of colour to the butterflies using Distress Markers in most of the lighter blue shades.

The tag is finished off with some crinkled paper ribbon, inked with Vintage Photo to bring out the edges and the creases.  As well as using it to thread through the label, I felt it needed a little down one side too, just to balance the colours.

I've gone in to quite a lot of detail with this one since, as I say, some of the component parts are going on to play a role in the bigger project I hope I'll be sharing with you in the next few days... if I go and get on with it now, that is.

Thanks so much for dropping by, and have a glorious time (scrapping or otherwise) until we meet again.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau


Inkypinkycraft said...

Your tags are beautiful...i so love the combination of brown and blue ..just love it and these tags are such wonderful examples of why..trace x
Thanks for stopping by!

Ann Freeman (mafswife) said...

Stunning work, I just can't get my Tim Holtz bits to work as well, or I am very self critical! Love the blue/brown and thanks for entering the ATDML challenge!