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...

Monday 19 December 2016

The Running of the Deer

Hello all!  We've made it... I'm here with my final tag for the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas challenge - twelve tags in thirteen days.  After all that running to catch up, I think we deserve hot toddies all round to celebrate.  (Seriously, you might want a drink to get you through this long final post!)

This is my finale, though it's actually Linda's Tag 7.  If you take a look at her gorgeous original, you'll see it's a strong inspirational influence, but I've gone just a little off-piste from Linda's design.  And it's definitely ended up being one of my favourites of the twelve.

Tis the Season and Dreaming of a Kraft and White Christmas probably join it to make up my top three, though I do love A Christmas Wish and Snow is Falling too.  Oops, and Pine Cones Galore!  Oh dear - that's a top 6 then.  But I don't even have to worry about saying how much I like them, as most of the credit goes to Linda's inspiration...

There's a chance to see the whole collection at the end of this post, so you'll be able to pick your own favourites, should you have nothing better to do amidst all the mad final preparations for the holiday.  But for now, let's get back to the matter in hand...

I was uncertain about the solid blue of the background to start with.  It felt pretty full on.

I started stamping my snowflakes, and once they were in place I added some of the fabulous scratches from Andy Skinner's Industrial stamps and a finger full of paint around the edges.

The stamping is done with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Metallic Silver.

I paint a thin layer onto the craft sheet and then use that as my "stamp pad".

I just love the look of old scratched-up painted metal that you get.  From then on, I was very happy!

I die-cut the deer, painted him and gave him his dusting of Distress Glitter.  But, being me, I felt the need for a little bit of Vintage Photo inking.

And I think there's probably some Ground Espresso right on the outer edges too.

And I loved how Linda had given her deer a sort of frame to set him off, so I worked something similar with a krafty arch which had been hanging around on the craft table for an age. 

(I think it's probably left over from this journalling page, so that's 18 months of hanging around.  Worth the wait though.)

I can't tell you how much I loved Linda's Stacked Snowflake - suffice it to say I just wanted to have pretty much exactly the same thing on my tag.

I'm not usually much for glitter, but I'm prepared to make an exception at Christmas...

... as well as in the case of Distress Glitter, which really is a different proposition from the usual stuff we played with as kids.

And you can ink around its edges even after you've applied it, which has to be a plus in my eyes!

Rather than all that luscious netting which Linda does so well, I've gone for a slightly more austere setting for my snowflake.  

There's a krafty decorative strip behind - it's actually a Sizzix die intended for creating paper chains which I picked up in a sale for about £1.50.

I haven't got around to making paper chains with it yet, but it was just what I needed for this tag.

And around the snowflake I've added some of my much-loved pine cones (see Pine Cones Galore! or I'm Dreaming of a Kraft and White Christmas or The Holly and the Holly).

There are some more of the tiny sparkling berries which also put in an appearance on Tis the Season.

Here is the "shadowed" Noel word I mentioned in a previous post (the reason I used "wish" on Tag 12 A Christmas Wish rather than the Noel Linda used was that I'd already used the Noel for this one).  I loved how Linda offset the second die-cutting to create the dimensional look.

Hers actually is dimensional as her second cutting is done with foam, but I just used card.  (There are some things I don't have in my craft stash... not many, I grant you, but a few, and foam is one of them.)

Some more pine cones and frosted berries adorn the simple twine bow at the top of the tag, and we're all done with the final tag of the challenge.

I think these final two (Tags 6 and 7, but the final two I'm sharing) work rather well together as a twosome.  They were made pretty much simultaneously, one bit drying on one while I worked on something on the other.

The two deer, the pine cones, the dimensionality, the wintry woodland feeling - I think they belong together as a pair.

So how about the whole set together then?  From very early on, it felt as though the these tags were "talking" to one another - elements and colour-ways were being echoed and repeated from tag to tag.  And so that became another part of my challenge to myself... to keep creating "a set" of tags.  Well, here they all are together, so you can decide for yourselves whether I achieved that.

(Remember you can click on a photo to see it in a larger view, or just scroll back through the last 12 days if there are any for which you missed the making-of details.)

And completing Linda's 12-week challenge in just over 12 days definitely achieved my own aim of getting me back in the craft room after so long away from it this year.  The first four tags, done on standard size #8s were okay, but I wasn't really anywhere near "the zone".  But as I moved onto the jumbo size #10s, starting with my version of the folded Tag 9 (the first one I did out of order, because I just really wanted to make that tag) I started to feel more at home at the craft table, and I think that shows in the resulting tags.

So huge thanks to the Funkie Junkie, Linda Coughlin, for her stunning inspiration tags, and for a triumphant fifth anniversary edition of the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas, and also thanks to all of you for cheering me on from the sidelines (or often from on the pitch next to me - it's been lovely visiting the other FJ 12 Taggers to see your versions too).

And now I'll leave you all in peace for a few days!

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.
Oh, the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.
Traditional English carol

I'd like to share this as Tag 7 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique, and completing my full set of twelve
And there's just time to get one more under the wire for Let There Be Snow at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge too...


Gitte said...

Wow beautiful tags.

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Congratulations on getting into your craft room and comfortable with all your tools and supplies again. I know that is an achievement because my 12 tags did the same for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the 12 tags challenge this year, both from a crafting standpoint and from being inspired by all the amazing work the participants have been linking up. This is another beauty, Alison. The background is fab - love this scratches. Your kraft accents really make it sing. I'm so delighted that ou were able to play along again this year. Best of luck in the prize drawings tomorrow.


Hazel Agnew said...

Happy to be one of your cheerleaders......waving my Pom poms as I type!
Another glorious tag, and fabulous inspiration as always. I have foam but am lacking in the dies department. I need to invest in a few to add some dimension to my work. Love the distress glitter too, didn't know that it existed.
Thanks for your 12 amazing tags, you have taken me up to Christmas in style. Also reacquainted me with my John Rutter song and my piano. Don't play often enough. Happy Christmas my virtual friend! Xx 😁

Valerie-Jael said...

They are all gorgeous, well done on getting them finished. I liked the sparkly ones best! Havea great Christmas and new year, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen said...

The last one is wonderful as well!
Your collection is just WONDERFUL!


sally said...

Wow, you have been so busy making these little beauties and they all work together so well. I'm sorry I never joined this year but I've been checking out the work of some of the ones that have and it's been a feast of visual delight.....I promise to try harder next year! Thanks for the entertainment over recent days with all these lovely tags, you may now go and make ready for xmas with a lighter heart knowing that you have spread a little joy in the dark world of today. Merry Christmas to you all.

Sally xx

Dorthe said...

Magical it is dear Alison, such beauty in the layered snowflake, -can`t hide it...I love glitter, lol- and your wonderful shadowed text looks great, too. The background looks also like a frozen pond, where many skaters have been crossing it ,all over :-) now the reindeer have its fun , too ,lol. A beautiful tag.

SewPaperPaint said...

Alison, what fun it is to see all of these beauties in one post! Wow!!! I just love this final tag and the gorgeous silver snowflakes and edging in the background. The layered dies are so beautiful and I love the addition of a natural color. Congratulations on a job well done! Enjoy your Christmas break now. Christmas hugs, Autumn

Helen said...

What a wowser to finish with - this is gorgeous! I love the sparkly sky in your background, it looks amazing!! Lovely looking at all twelve together (wish i could line up my photos like that!) as a resume, too. Happy Christmas!

chrissie said...

A bit of everything this last tag Alison it looks amazing..wonderfultoseethem all in one place as well

Love Chrissie xx

Corrie Herriman said...

Love them all ! Well done ! Merry Christmas !
Corrie x

Meggymay said...

Congratulations, you made your target to get all the tags finished.
Today's is beautiful and it was good to see them altogether in this post.
Yvonne xx

craftytrog said...

Congratulations on completing the tags with these beauties Alison! Glad they got you back into the craft room! They did the same for me. This challenge always helps with my Christmas card making.
Alison xx

Shirley said...

Soooo hard to choose my fave tag if I had to Alison as they are all stunners and very magical looking.

Thank you so much for my card it was a delight as usual.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and I hope 2017 brings you everything you have ever dreamed of and that you enjoy each and every moment as it comes.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

Redanne said...

OK, so I have a new favourite.... well possibly alongside the treeline one! Those 'Andy' scratches in the background do it for me - it reminds me of a clear starry night with the odd shooting star - it really does look incredibly beautiful. The stacked snowflakes look stunning in their soft glittery coats too... Well done for getting all 12 done, I have so enjoyed seeing yours and the creations by other 12 taggers! Anne xx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

You've nailed all these tags. LOVE your starry sky...just a wow...beautiful tag!

Marci said...

A lovely collection of tags. The newest is another great one, I love the blue with the snowflakes. My very favorite one is "Tis the Season". It is just so beautiful! I hope we see you here a lot, now that you are in the groove again. Have a wonderful Christmas season! (I'm sorry my comment is late).

Sandy said...

All so beautiful - that snowflake looks like a sugar cookie, good enough to eat!
Hmmm - the running of the deer - is that like the running of the bulls!
Merry Christmas Alison!
sandy xx

Paper Profusion said...

They do indeed look terrific as a set Alison. So very impressive viewed together!! All are wonderful! Well done on getting to the end too and delighted that you are back 'in the craft zone'. Merriest wishes to you and enjoy those hot toddies! Nicola x

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

I think this is my favourite one Alison, how wonderful they all look together too!
Donna xx

Jackie PN said...

Absolute gorgeousness! I too find your last two my favorites, but each and every one is just beautiful Alison!
Thank you for taking us on the whirlwind tag-a-thon! lol
Merry Christmas to you and your family dear friend!

Jackie PN said...

ps congrats on your win over at Linda's!! woo hoo!!

Lys said...

A real fireworks for this finale! It's impossible to choose one, each tag is different but the whole set is a such harmony. I always love your combination blue/kraft and the two last one are wonderful. I love the second dimension made on Noël.
Merry Christmas Alison!

Cocofolies said...

Ooooh... What a wonderful tag, this one is SO FABULOUS.
Great work Alison, my enchanted eyes can admire an amazing collection of Christmas tags, and it is hard to choose a favorite, really. They are all so delightful and beautiful!!!!
but maybe this one... I love it to bits.
Here the background made with your Decoart silver paint and Andy's scratched lines combined to snowflakes is totally awesome, and your layered snowflake and the other elements absolutely PERFECT.
Thank you for the feast this morning, Happy Christmas again! xx

maj. said...

What a beautiful collection! Great!
Wishing you a very happy Christmas!

Gaby Bee said...

You are seriously one of the most creative artists around. All of your tags are amazing!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alison!!! Thanks for all your creativity and inspiration through the year.

Gaby xo

Lucy said...

Beautiful! Very happy Christmas!
Lucy x

Sarah Anderson said...

oh I love these!!!

Evelyn Walter said...

They are ALL just gorgeous! You are so talented!
xxx Evelyn