Friday, March 27, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - March

Sorry for the delay, sometimes life gets in the way of my best intentions!  I am loving doing these tags!  The March tag brought some new challenges, e.g. using paint to make a swirly multi-colored background without getting mud!  I didn't have any Tim Holtz Distress paints but I have almost 100 bottles of acrylic paint that I used years ago for tole painting.  Since Distress paints are described as very fluid water based acrylic paints, I thought my tole paints would work just as well.  What I found out is that although they did work and looked very nice, they weren't anywhere near as vibrant as Distress Paints.  Here is my March tag...

See what I mean?  Very pretty, but not as vibrant.  Actually this photo makes the colors look brighter than they really are.  I started by putting some pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape here and there on the tag.  Then I dropped random acrylic paint drops onto my craft mat.  I spritzed with a lot of water and then mixed them a bit with my finger and dropped my tag on top.  When I picked up my tag, there were some bare spots so I put those back down in the paint until the entire tag was covered.  Once the paint was dry, I stamped the butterfly in black ink.  The butterfly is from Art Institute Glitter.  I used a stencil from called Numbers and Dreamweaver stencil paste to add the numbers.  I sprinkled gold glitter over the paste and embossed it before the paste was dry.  I know TH said to wait for it to dry, but I couldn't!  I was very happy when it came out ok!  The next step was to add embellishments.  I used a pin that I had in my stash and a key, a Heidi Swapp Ghost Letter M for March, a butterfly wishes ticket that I found as a printable on-line and a butterfly image in a tiny frame that I've had in my stash forever!  I collect quotes and decided to add one to my tag.  I thought the blue that I used around the edges matched when I made it but it isn't right.  Despite that, I'm happy with how my tag turned out.

Here are some close up pictures...

Isn't the little frame cute?

You can see from this picture that the Dreamweaver texture paste works just fine when heated before drying.  It didn't bubble up or distort at all.  It may have something to do with the fact that my paste is a few years old.  It was kind of stiff but still worked very well through the stencil.  

A friend who was doing the tags with me used Distress Paints and the colors were much clearer, more vibrant and more transparent than the acrylic paints that I used.  I bet you know what happened when I found that out.   If you guessed that I needed are right!!  It was a no-brainer, especially when I found out that Joanne's had all of their paper crafting supplies 1/2 off that day!!  Yikes, that was serendipitous!!  I was a very happy girl!  Once the tag was finished and everything was cleaned up, I went directly to Joanne's to take advantage of the great sale!  Can you blame me??  I "needed" them right?  

On this tag I learned how to make another beautiful background, this time using multiple colors and my craft mat...the color combinations are endless!  I also learned that using texture paste with a stencil adds a lot of texture and dimension and that you can make it any color by using different embossing powders.  Embellishing is my biggest sticky wicket.  I never know what to use or how to combine things but doing the tags is teaching me to let go of the anxiety and just try things that I have on hand and that eventually...if I keep rearranging them, I come up with something that is OK!  

If you have any suggestions or ideas on mixed media or collage that might help me or others, I sure would appreciate hearing about them!!  I like blogging, but it would be so much better to be able to sit together with some coffee and have a long chat with you about all of the things we love!!

Thanks for visiting, 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - February

I want to do mixed media...but for whatever reason I'm afraid of it.  I've watched videos and looked at blogs.  I've purchased lots of products that I've seen recommended.  I've talked to friends who are creating mixed media successfully BUT I'm still afraid of it!  I've been looking at Tim Holtz's 12 Tags blog posts since 2013 and I decided copying the master might be the way to go.  I've done 2 months now and I don't hate what I've made.  I don't really love my tags either, but I'm thrilled that I'm producing something!  I've learned some things about backgrounds and embellishments.  As I feared, it isn't easy, but I can honestly say it isn't quite as scary as I expected it to be either.  I'm trying to make my version of the tags with things I already have on hand so they aren't exactly what Tim has on his blog.  I started with February.  Here's my first tag...

Like I said, I don't love it but I don't hate it either!  For the arrow I used an MFT die from the Blueprints Tag Builder 3 set.  I cut 4 black arrows and 1 silver mirror arrow and glued them together to give it more substance.   The Love stencil up in the corner and the red heart were cut using the Tag Builder 3 die also. The charm is cut with a die from Taylored Expressions set called Handmade Charms.  For the frame around the velvet heart I used a Spellbinder scalloped oval and used a solid oval to cut out the middle.  The string of hearts was made with a Penny Black die.  The lace was stitched onto the tag using a zig zag stitch.   Here are some close up pictures...

I used silver mirror card stock to cut all of the metallic pieces and it was a little bit overwhelming when I finished my tag.  It was everywhere and it was SHINY!  I like shine but it was really bothering me.  I used Precious Metals Platinum paint to dull the arrow and the frame down.  It was perfect and made my tag look much better.  This product is available at Hobby Lobby!

I have a huge bag of felt, do you think I could find it?  NO!  I die cut a heart out of red velvet and it worked great.  I really like the richness of the red color and stitching on it made it much more interesting!  i glued it onto a card stock heart so I could used foam dots to raise it up off the frame.

After I used my sewing machine to stitch on the that...I decided that the top of my tag was too plain so I cut the heart string and Love stencil to finish it off.  If you are interested in trying mixed media and you freeze up like I do...I recommend that you give this a try.  On this tag I learned that gluing down different papers and ephemera with Ranger Multi Medium Matte is an easy way to make an interesting background.  I learned that white washing the background dulls it enough so that it recedes and lets the embellishments on top shine.  I learned that sewing is a good way to add texture and interest.  And I learned that you have to keep adding embellishments until everything looks balanced and pleasing.   Thanks to Tim Holtz for helping me start my mixed media journey!  When I finished my tag I found myself wondering what new lessons the March tag would bring!

I'll post my March tag later tonight!

Thanks for visiting :)