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...

Friday 29 December 2017

Glowing red and cheerful green

Hello all!  It's deadline day, the 29th of December, the day by which all the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas have to be completed and added to the challenge posts.

I actually completed all mine well before Christmas Day, but I've been holding this one over.  This also happens to be one of our A Vintage Journey Tag Fridays - so this tag is doing double duty!

Over at A Vintage Journey you can see the fun my fellow Creative Guides have been having with their tags and, since we're not even half way through the 12 Days of Christmas, I make no apology for mine being a festive make.  I've even added a rare dash of red to the mix.

I know that red is a favourite seasonal crafting colour of Linda's - a.k.a. the Funkie Junkie - and she's used it in lots of the inspiration tags this year and I have (for the most part) refused to go there... so this one's for you, Linda!!

Like her inspirational tag 12, mine is mainly a leftovers tag.

I've mentioned before how I've been using sheets of the 8x8 Jingle Christmas pad cut in half for my tags.  So this is the second half of the holly music paper (first half was here on the Joyous Noel - my only other tiny touches of red).

For tag 11 - A time of peace and gladness - I'd had a tough time deciding between two deer for the main focal point.  The leaping deer made the cut on that one, so this standing deer was leftover, and turned out to be just right for this final tag.

Her eyes are fixed on her tiny fawn, off in the distance, also a leftover, gazing upwards.  And his gaze leads our eyes onwards and upwards... 

... towards the calendar date around which all these festivities turn (though I know I've said before that my favourite part is after all the major kerfuffle, in the quiet days running through to 12th Night, 6th January).

I've finally managed to find a spot for the Christmas postcard originally made (stamped with a Darkroom Door stamp) for my Tag 2 Happy Smiles and Twinkling Eyes.  There turned out not to be room for it without covering up too many of the fabulous crackled stars for my liking, so it's been waiting for its moment ever since.

And whenever I've been cutting snowflakes - lots of the tags have them - there have usually been a couple leftover...

... so they also got swept up from around the craft mat and pressed into action.

I like the fresh white snowfall against the vintage sepia tones of the background.

I've followed Linda's example in including some vintage ephemera from Tim Holtz's brilliant sets of bits and pieces.

All my tags this year have used words from the Idea-ology Christmas Clippings, so this one had to follow suit - even drawing your attention to the rare deployment of red.

White twine and leftover holly die-cuts finish things off at the top (though I had to give a couple of the leaves a dash of Fresco paint to get the right green)... 

... and at the foot of the tag, with some frosted red berries of course.

And that's pretty much your lot for 2017.  But, of course, as is traditional here at Words and Pictures, I need to show you them all lined up together...

Huge thanks to Linda once again for the seasonal inspiration.  I never manage to start in September as she does, but I love having an intensive December period of Christmas crafting to put me in the right mood for the festivities.  It's also wonderful seeing everyone's variations bobbing up around Craftyblogland - it's a really lovely challenge to be a part of.  

Do hop over to A Vintage Journey and explore the wonderful tags created by my team-mates there for Tag Friday, but for now I'll love you and leave you until next year... which is a bare 48 hours away.  Happy New Year all!

And now we welcome the new year.  Full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke

I'd like to share this as my Tag 12 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique

Tuesday 26 December 2017

A time of peace and gladness

Hello all!  I hope you've been enjoying fine food, fine company (or fine peace and quiet, according to taste!) and fine times.

I've had some of each, with more to come, but for now I'm here with my penultimate tag in the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas.

I'm finding it tough to pick a favourite this year, but this gentle tag might just be the one.

I loved the broad ribbons wrapped around Linda's inspirational Tag 11, topped with a die-cut, so that was the starting point for mine.

I've been using the Anna Marie Designs Jingle Christmas pad as you know - in the 8x8 size.  So the tags which use that paper are 8x4 - just a single sheet cut in half vertically and mounted onto cardboard.  (And I've trimmed all the other tags to match in size.)

That meant that I always had a second "tag" left from each sheet, and I thought I might as well use them - so there are several pairs amongst the tags.

This one pairs with one of my other favourites, A Merry Little Christmas, which has the same fir tree and music background.

Linda's wide ribbon is actually cut from paper, but I decided to go with this lovely fine mesh ribbon from my stash.  I pleated it slightly and used my Tiny Attacher to staple the pleats in place.

Over that, I added some of my much-loved Idea-ology Linen Ribbon.  It's a subtle tonal and textural contrast, but it makes me very happy.

I thought the fir branch background would be a good setting for a deer as my central die-cut focal point, but couldn't decide at first between the leaping deer and the standing one from the TH Reindeer Flight Bigz die.

I went back and forth for a while, but in the end the leaper won out.

He's cut in textured brown card and inked with Black Soot Oxide, as are most of the die-cuts I've used across the whole set of tags (apart from the snowflakes, obviously!).

I had to trim padded tape to fit his slender legs and to go under his head.  With that and the pleated ribbon in the centre, he really does leap from the tag in a very satisfyingly dimensional way.

The topping is made with some of the punched fir branches leftover from the wreath you saw on Christmas Eve on my Christmas Bells Are Ringing tag.  I added a Muse Token and some of the large berries which have also put in an appearance before.

There are some more punched branches with some tiny berries tucked into the central ribbon feature.

And down at the foot of the tag, echoing Linda's medallion but in slightly different form, is a tag nestled into some more greenery.

And that tag carries the inevitable Christmas Clippings words.

These days after most of the Christmas festivities are accomplished are really my favourites.  The tree stays up until 12th Night (6th January), and this time of peace and gladness, spent with candlelight, music, and some good books to read, is a wonderful oasis in what is often a harum-scarum kind of existence. 

I hope you will also find time to indulge in your own favourite activities before the real world intrudes again.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon.

A pine needle fell in the forest.  The hawk saw it.  The deer heard it.  The white bear smelled it.
Edith Pattou

I'd like to share this as my Tag 11 in the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique

Sunday 24 December 2017

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

Hello all!  We've reached Tag 10 of the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas and, more importantly some would say, it's Christmas Eve.

So this tag comes with my very best wishes to you all for a peaceful and joyous Christmas, however you celebrate it.  The Christmas bells are ringing tonight.

(Oh, and if you like the jingling bells, there's lots more Christmas music going on over at Cestina's Dollshouses.)

To suit the occasion, there's more glitter on this tag than you've probably had in the whole history of Words and Pictures.

I'm happy to say, though, that the glitter is firmly in place.  There's no chance of this getting everywhere - it's entirely hardened and built in to my distressed brick wall background.

My main inspiration was the wreath hanging on the wonderful Tag 10 created by the Funkie Junkie, a.k.a. Linda Coughlin.

I combined that idea with my memory of the garland wreath from one of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags, back in December 2015.

Then I thought if I was going to have a Christmas wreath, I might as well hang it on a wall so that's how this tag came to life!

Thanks to the gleaming glitter, this one is very different in different lights, which is why you're getting two main photos of it.

I haven't the time just now to flick from one to the other trying to work out which one is the best.  Also, it's Christmas Eve - so you can have both in your stocking!

I don't have any glitter texture paste like the one Linda used, so I decided to make my own.  I mixed some of the Vintage Platinum Distress Glitter Dust into some semi-gloss gel medium and used that with the TH bricks stencil.

The background for the bricks is some smooshed DI in Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap.

Since the gel dries clear, you end up with this fabulously glamorous brickwork... not a look I'd go for most of the year, but I don't mind a touch of glitter at Christmas... especially since this glitter is not going to come off every time you brush past it.

The wreath itself is made with punched greenery (TH punches) in several colours of card.  Once you've punched them all (you can see a few in the photo above), it's just a question of alternating, scrunching, layering and gluing.

I followed Tim's instructions pretty much to the letter, so you can find all the details in his inspiration post here.

I cut plenty of snowflakes from the Mini Snowflakes Thinlits...

... and layered them up with padded tape...

... with a touch of inking around the edges.

I thought of adding Distress Dry Glitter to the snowflakes too but decided that, in fact, there is such a thing as too much glitter - for me at any rate!

The Idea-ology bells are hung on to the crinkled bow with jump rings.

And the white seam binding used to make the bow had just a dash of Vintage Photo DI to give it a golden glow to match the bricks.

The bells even make a nice jingling noise when you move the tag!

And I found some Christmas Clippings words just right for the occasion - not only to mention the bells...

... but also to include the falling snowflakes.  I do enjoy finding the right words, as you know!

So that's my weathered wall, decorated with a wreath, though pretty sparkly and festive all by itself in truth, especially when the light catches it.

This tiny snippet of video - a little Christmas extra - is late at night and pre-splatter, but I wanted to capture the gleam of the home-made glitter paste for you.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and a very Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.
Bess Streeter Aldrich

I'd like to share this as my Tag 10 in the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique