Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Evolution of the Tim Tag 12.16

Please join me on my new blog - where this project is included with more already added. Thank you. I hope to see you there.

I don't really have trouble making things. I can almost always think of something to make and come up with a way to make it. BUT making Tim Tags is a challenge for me, appropriately so. It's using craft items that I am new to and using them in very different ways.

The first tag I did in January was a failure from the technique standpoint so much so that I never even entered it. I'd hardly ever stamped anything in my life at that time - this one was the embossed
powder with chalk. I got better at it and actually made tags in March and April that I liked. Then my bike trip intervened and I missed a few months, but now I am inspired. I worked really hard on this tag as you will see below when you see the many iterations I went through to come up with the tag.

I will enter this tag in 2 challenges - the December edition of tags of 2016 and in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - "Let there be Snow".

1. Choosing a Theme
When making a tag, I like to have a theme. I have trouble just combining decorative elements. I have to have a story of some kind for me to choose what elements to include. This theme is based on my mother's love of tea, teapots, and snow. She loved it when it snowed here. She wasn't very mobile for many years of her life so she had to enjoy the snow from her comfortable chair in the den. She also loved tea and had a wonderful collection of teapots. That's the inspiration behind the tag.

2. Background Image
So I wanted a background with blue snowflakes, but I didn't have any blue spray stain. What to do? Why make some, of course. I put some blueprint sketch paint in a mini-mister and diluted it, then tried it, then diluted it again and again until I was able to spray it like I wanted. It worked!! I washed out the mini-mister right after I was done so it wouldn't clog up the nozzle.

Next challenge was that I didn't have any burlap. Well, I did have burlap but it is very coarse and would not work at all. I've purchased so many stamps and dies and papers recently I just didn't want to make another order before making the tag. That's why I had to come up with a different fabric.

This tag uses leftover fabric from a cotton drop cloth. My homemade stain worked beautifully. What didn't work great was that the glue I used to adhere it to cardstock bled through the fabric and looks dirty. Since the plan was to distress everything anyway, I figured it was just pre-distressed.

1. Tag stained using gauze as the fabric with mowed lawn stain
2. Gauze sprayed through the holiday green stencil, smeared red stain on it - oops.
3. Snowflake stencil with blueprint sketch spray
4. Holiday greens with mowed lawn stain on linen
5. Holiday greens with forest moss on leftover sheet fabric

When I used a paper towel to lift the stain from the stencil, I noticed that it made a beautiful negative of the stencil so I decided to use watercolor paper to absorb the excess strain for a later project.

Most of these are negatives printed from the spray on the stencil. I also wanted to make a teapot look like transferware or delft, two of those teapots samples are included. I've got one other tag in the works using the poinsetta teapot above.

3. Shadow Press Embossing
The next challenge was embossing with the shadow press which I had just ordered. Unfortunately I neglected to order any debossing folders. I don't know what I was thinking. So off to order some debossing folders. I also finally realized that the technique would work with a embossing pattern that didn't have words on it even if I didn't have any specific drop shadow debossing folders. 

Teapot variations along with embossing samples. There are more somewhere in a pile of papers. I wanted to make a brown transferware teapot with the Scribble Woodland stamp, but the proportions are too big for a tag teapot. I really like the fleur de lis gold embossing. 
4. Putting it all together
Finally, I have elements I like and the tag remix techniques done - embossed teapot, embossed drop shadow "Let it snow", the background tag and my theme. I put "let it snow" on a gold edged tile. The teapot is placed on holly trivet tile. I used glittered snowflakes from the new Tim Holtz mini paper snowflakes thinlet dies as tiles for the other embellishments. After all of that, you have it - the December 2016 Tim Tag. 

That's how this month's tag evolved. Kind of convoluted, I know. But fun and it worked and I learned some cool new techniques. So the 2 challenges are the December Tim Holtz tag and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which is "Let there be Snow".

I hope you are having a joyous and creative holiday season. 


  1. Fabulous tag, love the cute teapot. So many pretty snowflakes too. Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Hugs, Sandra

  2. Lucy, how I enjoyed reading your post and seeing how you tag came about. Drop cloth! Woulda thunkit? Looks great and I really love your "negatives", too!Gorgeous tag in the end! those teapots are lovely! Hugs!

  3. Great tag and post - I enjoyed reading about your process for this tag and seeing your samples etc along the way!

  4. Great tag! I love the colours you went with.

  5. Oooh! The teapots are beautiful,Lucy! I love the negatives too! Such fun to follow the process as it unfolds. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I agree, Tim's tags can be tough but I'm always making new discoveries when I try them. Your tea time tags make my efforts pale by comparison. Wow! I like your approach and it's no wonder your results are so outstanding. Happy New Year!

  7. Thank you, everyone. I am grateful that so many people have commented on my evolutionary tag. It does make me happy to hear from you. Thank you again.