Monday, December 12, 2011

On the 12th tag of Christmas

my inspiration tag
close up of the details in the background
the close-up of the tissue flower covered in German glitter

Once again, let me say thank you for stopping a moment, reading and hopefully finding something to help your daily living. I love reading the comments -it has been such fun tagging along with Tim and you. Thanks again.

Oh how I loved this tag..Tim's final tag was full of wintry wonderland feel. He did however use a frozen Charlotte (he calls them fractured, which for me is worse:) which is one vintage embellishments/ephemera that I can't seem to like. I am such a girly, girl that I loved my dolls to be whole - my sister on the other hand thought one of my baby dolls needed a haircut and to have her eyelashes plucked...that however is not about today's tag. We will save that story for another day when that is the topic at hand. Right now it's about this wonderful tag. I did have to make a few switches as there were a few things he had that I didn't know even existed. I must have been under a pile of paper, fabric or buttons when he introduced tissue tape paper. I immediately ordered some for me, on Santa's behalf of course. I did use the tissue tape for the background and it worked wonderfully. It is truly a fun tape that doesn't behave like tape. It's wonderful. My embellishments were different as I used a Christmas tree instead of poor frozen Charlotte...I do love how it turned are a few tips for this tag.

*I used thin tissue that I use for wrapping. I made the tissue flower just as Tim had done, but then sprayed mine with a spray adhesive and the poured German glass glitter all over it. Beautiful if I do say so myself.
*I used real hymnal words from "Joy to the World" I thought it tied nicely with the tree and just the feel of the card.
*For the tinsel, I used the little bit of scrap yarn I had left. If you happen to see Fun Fur or something similar in gold/silver or metallic- snatch it up because it works great.
*Instead of leaves, I used scrolls from Tim's grungeboard line. They seem to work well behind the tissue flower.

Each day, I woke up and checked fb to see his post, then sat for a few minutes and saw his steps to his tag and then began to plan my steps. I would run back and forth from the house to the studio to grab just a few minutes here and there to work on each day's tag. I was determined to do each tag, each day and then blog about it that evening. As I was working today on this tag, I thought this is the last and final tag. I did it..I actually carried through and finished the projects at hand. Those particular thoughts, lead me to think of the Lord and how he begins a good work in all of us. Unlike me with projects everywhere, some almost finished, some barely started all beckoning for attention, The Lord begins and finishes what he starts. He understand the work that needs to be done and the wonderful reward that awaits us when the work is finished. I am so grateful that the Lord doesn't just add me to his "to do list" and hopes that he gets to me. You and I are at the top of his list each and everyday. He knows what needs to be accomplished for that day and if I am willing, seeking and learning, and open to his will, the work continues just as planned. I praise him for his wisdom, which is far greater than mine now or in the future. But each day, I can be confident that even though my to do list is still miles long, there is a list where I have been taken care of, sought after and loved. It takes deadlines, someone prodding or encouraging us to finish..For Paul it was his love for Christ that compelled him to keep the fight, run the race and finish what was started. I hope that in my life, it is Christ that compels me to finish the important things... Seeking his Word, loving my family, serving others and living for Jesus. I know That he who began a good work in me will see it through...

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion... "
Philippians 1:6

Once again, let me say thank you for stopping a moment, reading and hopefully finding something to help your daily living. I love reading the comments -it has been such fun tagging along with Tim and you. Thanks again.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the 11th tag of Christmas..

my inspiration tag

close -up of Santa

On this Sunday, I hope you had a time of worship, reflection and rest. Even though Sunday is no longer the Sabbath, I believe the Word does encourage us to rest and reflect on God's love for us and what he has done for us and then we can go with renewed focus and touch others. While I spent time in my studio today, working on my take on Tim's tag, focused on the techniques today, I just couldn't get the hang of the UTEE with shrink plastic. I have used UTEE in the past and also shrink plastic (remember watching them through the oven door-wasn't it magical??) but never together. I liked the fact that today's tag was simple, not frantic, not too many steps--it was restful!! At first when I finished it, I didn't think it was that great..maybe too simple, not enough pizazz. But the more I look at it, while I am typing, a sweet calm comes over me. The gentle eyes of Santa, the soft background, the words "Peace, Love and Hope..." The words we all long to not just hear but to have those be evident in our life. Sometimes the simple things elude us in the midst of the busyness, the noise, the wants...But the Lord has told us several things that we must take to heart and hold on to and then hold out to others...

"The Lord blesses his people with peace."

Psalm 29: 11

"Find rest,O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him"

Psalm 62:5

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"
I Corinthians 13:13

When the Christmas season is over and others have packed up their holiday cheer, when their hearts of gratitude will come out again next year or when their thoughts will turn to Jesus again at Easter - remember that the Lord remains with us, his perfect peace is extended to those that love him, his perfect love is given to all and in him , we find rest from the wearies of this life. He refreshes us each and every day. Thank God for the simple, restful days for the frantic, difficult times come, you and I can reflect back on those daily gifts from the Lord. I love my tag not for it's intricacies, but for the simplicity, so alsothe days of rest - Simplicity!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

On the 10th tag of Christmas...

Today's Tag was an all time favorite. I love that Tim brought a technique that my mother showed me when I was a little girl. We now have so many tools, products out there in the market than we forget the simple things, the basis for art and the ability create one of a kind art. I did make a few changes-I made my own banner with a decorative cutter and folded the ends to create a banner. Of course, I love the roses wrapped with holly and some tinsel yarn (leftover from a crocheted scarf I made). The facets were so wonderful to make. The transfer technique use mailing tape (the clearer the better) and the image you want to transfer and warm water in a small bowl and a paper towel. To create this cut your image a little larger-then cover the image with the tape. Dip in warm water and begin to rub the backing away from the image. When you get a "squeaky" clean feel and nothing else is rubbing off, it's done!! You now have made your own transfer! I followed Tim's tag with adding the metal foil tape and it looks awesome. In fact, Savannah , my 17 year old, thought they would be pretty necklaces!!
I didn't switch too many things - the stamped sentiment instead of the alpha parts, the flowers instead of the bells. It was a great experience!!

Now for the reflection- While working on the transfers, I thought of how much my mother has taught me in art, crafts, being a woman, a wife and a mother. She has taught me so much about life and how to love God fully. I think that is why Scripture commends older women to teach younger women how to love their husbands and children, to manage their days, their priorities and to reflect the Lord in all that they do. No matter where you are in life, what season you are in there is always someone watching you, learning from you whether you realize it or not. take opportunity to see teachable moments- make them part of your daily speech, your daily activities-to put it simply in our daily living. I am also reminded that when we share what we know, what we have learned - the lessons will never be void. It may take years to see the benefits, to reap the reward but just as the tape transfer was taught to me when I was little, so were the lessons of kindness, service, commitment and the love for the Lord. Years later, the lessons that lasted are the ones which truly make a difference in my life. Love and commitment permeate my family, kindness is extended to all and the love for the Lord grows daily. It's great to be a life long learner, just make sure your teaching along the way.

"Teach the older women to reverent in the way they live, teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind,..." Titus 2:3-5

P.S. Here are a few more photos...I am on my mom's pc and it is alittle different than my mac -so I can't seem to move the photos around:) Enjoy

Friday, December 9, 2011

On the 9th tag of Christmas...

my inspiration tag

Here are a few close - up details..glossy accents on the letters,

the stamped tag and the awesome embossed background

Did you see the time I posted last night? Yes it was around 11:30 pm...My computer ran out of space - you could say I stretched it as much as possible. It wouldn't allow me to do anything. So off I went to the Apple Store on a busy Friday to see if the genius bar could figure out what I could not - which wouldn't take a genius--I am computer challenged but still attempt to learn and understand "to stretch my mind" as it were. The guy who helped me was wonderful -my computer still can't upload photos, save downloads or sync phones at this moment but soon when the apple guy comes to the house to give my computer more memory all be well. Wouldn't that be great for us if someone could add a ton of new memory space....On to the tag before I forget why I am blogging today....

Tim's tag took a walk through memory lane for me...I love to emboss!! And to layer emboss is a double treat and the effect is just beautiful. Of course, I didn't have the wonderful die he used -his Halloween candelabra. Who knew that you could use just a portion and get a candle that is perfect for the holidays...oh my list is getting longer for Santa.

On this tag, I first thought I would go french with the Eiffel tower and Joyeux Noel but it wasn't coming together. So I looked for inspiration and found it in a stamp... true gifts. Then the tag took shape. Here are a few tips for this tag...

*I embossed two cards, one for the background and one for the tag with the sentiment. I loved using the vintage photo on the saying and then trimming it to a fancy shape and then using the snow cap paint dabber for a little Christmas snow.

*This tag played to simplicity -not a lot going on but with the background technique - an amazing finish.

As I worked on this tag, especially on the embossing technique, I began to think of all the things I have forgotten, the tips, the techniques, the tools - It was a great refresher. We all need to be refreshed from time to time. Perhaps now even during this what is supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year", remembrances come to mind, some happy, some sad, some painful. Stress reaches a high during this time with unreal expectations, lofty but unattainable goals, a lot of gift lists to fulfill without a lot of time or resources - Wouldn't it be nice to feel refreshed, renewed instead of run down and weary. Good news - just like Haggar in her time of despair, the Lord remembers us. - Not our flaws or our failures, he remembers our faithfulness. He looks upon us with love and kindness and renews our spirits and gives us strength to journey on but not limping from the heavy bags that weigh us down but with wings like eagles so that we may soar. So if this time of year finds you travelling down memory lane and you are in need of refreshment, no Starbucks needed - simply wait on the Lord and he'll be right over-

"..but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." --Isaiah 40:31

"A genrous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." --Pr. 11:25

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On the 8th tag of Christmas...

my inspiration tag
a close-up of the ribbon,wire wrapped holly

Santa Claus!!!
A close up of my snowflakes and clock pieces

First of all, let me thank each one of you who might happen across my blog and stop in for a visit. I blog hop and sometimes leave comments or begin to follow but many times I just read and enjoy and move on. So if you are like me, thanks for stopping by and I do hope your time was well spent. On today's tag...Tim's tag was a little out of my comfort zone - actually a lot out of my comfort zone. It's funny how we gravitate to what is comfortable, fitting, goes with our sense of style, even in the world of art, especially in the world of art. Yet, I loved Tim's tag and at the same time, it challenged me to go beyond what I normally do. In fact for today's tag, I had very little if any of the things he used. I did have the inks, paper, grungeboard -but that was it! Still wanting to use his tag as an inspiration - I needed to reach way out...the finished tag still is as "Steampunk" as his but it does have some of the elements. Clock pieces, staples, a little more of an industrial feel than that of sentiments with flowers and fluff. So it was very fun and I loved it! My comfort zone just got a wee bit bigger. So here are a few switches...

*For the gears and watch pieces, I used a sizzix BIGZ die of a snowflake and then some smaller snowflake dies along with a silver and rhinestone brad (ok, so not so industrial, but I tried)

* For the stamp of the men, I most definitely did not have that stamp so of course I used dear old St. Nick with a little rhinestone on his cap and a little bit of snow cap paint around the outline.

*My 25 was used in place of his word element and I did add holly and some crystal chandelier prisms with the ribbon.

*For the ribbon, I swiped the distress inks that I used for the back ground and then misted with water, scrunched and heat set..and voila, custom colored ribbon.

This tag was a reminder to me that I can't always stay where I am comfortable, sure and at times even rest on my laurels. There are times in life that stretch us, make us grow and show us that we really can do more than we believe to be possible. Times such as births, family transitions, new jobs, new places, new people are some of those stretch times. My hands can turn the pages of the Bible and find people who were comfortable and then God took hold of their lives and stretched them to be more, do more and believe more. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Paul, Peter, Mary, Martha are just a few of those comfortable people. These people and many others, from scripture and even those in your midst are here to show us that God can accomplish the impossible- He has power that is limitless and righteous filled with love. He wishes to make us more than we think we can be- He chooses to take us beyond the comfort of what we have always done but to create what he knows we can do. Perhaps it as simple as speaking a good word to a stranger, giving of our time when time is precious. No matter what it is there is one thing that is certain, when God chooses to move in us it will be something we have never done and it will be quite comforting in the end as we know God is with us each step of the way...that is true comfort!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the 7th tag of Christmas

my inspiration tag...
Can you believe it? I think I have posted more in the last 7 days than perhaps all year...This has been so fun!! I hope you are enjoying the journey with the tag art and the inspiration from the heart. It's amazing to me how we can truly see life lessons everywhere. Jesus was so good about teaching that to us, wasn't he? His stories and lessons were for all people, at all times and for all times. He spoke to us right where we live...OK more reflections later. Now for the tag....

Each morning I check Tim's blog to see what amazing tag he has created, what supplies do I have and of course, what I don't have -sometimes the latter seems to win out more times. Yes, for those of you who have been to my studio, you think that is an impossibility but trust me, it's true. I did love today's tag, the video he included and all the wonderful instruction. the inking and rolling of an unmounted stamp is incredible!! Of course, I had some trials and errors, but it was a great time of creativity, inspiration and reflection in the studio. Here are some tips and switches for today.

*I didn't have the stains for the tag, so I used my own perfect pearls mister (1-2 scoops of perfect pearls and water in a mister). My background turned out wonderfully. I love it!!!

*With the glassine paper, I had grand intentions... I purchased some of his glassine envelopes earlier and had no idea what to do with them. But when something says "TIm Holtz", I buy it. I did try his technique, I had all the alcohol inks, distress inks, heat tool but I just couldn't get it right-it wasn't for me. It was a no to the tag today :(
*LOVE the embossing in black!!!
*The things I used for trinkets and embellishments- floral christmas picks(Michaels 1/2 off!!), holly leaves in the "make it Christmas" section at Hobby Lobby, seam binding and then, I used my perfect pearls mister on ribbon and scrunched and heat set it. LOVE it!!
*At the top of the tag, I used a distressed gold medallion-first, punch a hole in center, align with hole and thread your ribbons through. I also found a little coper bell - who knew that was in my stash??

When the glassine didn't come together as Tim's, I thought to myself "I have the products, the tools, the knowledge, the experience and the desire..why didn't it work?" Too often in life, we are faced with the same questions- "I can do this, I am ready to accept the challenge, I want to help, serve, teach, I want to_________(you fill in the blank)." But for God's own choosing, it is not meant to be- we can be sorry, upset, downcast, angry or accepting. This is King David's lot- He desperately wants to build the Lord a temple (2 Samuel 7 and following). He realizes that he lives in a Palace made of Cedar and the LORD dwells in a tent. He has the resources, the tools, , the knowledge, the desire but the LORD says "Not You". Perhaps we would say it this way - "Thanks but no thanks." David at first is downcast but it doesn't last long - He knows that his son, Solomon, a man of peace, will build the temple, not a man of war (David). He accepts his limitations. He acknowledges the sovereignty of God and the praises him in the midst of his "No". My question for us is "Do we accept and praise him in the midst of our "No?" I hope that in my daily journey with the Lord that my praise is not conditional based on a yes but unconditional just as his love is for me, even when the answer is "Thank you for being willing, but not this time, not you."

Some may try the glassine and it will work beautifully, others will try and not yield the same results but rest assured your tag will be wonderfully your own. Some may try to accomplish certain things (perhaps things you want to do) and they will succeed and you will not, but rest assured that if the Lord is leading, your life journey will be your own just as he thought it would be- Wonderful!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord."
-Isaiah 54:10

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the 6th tag of Christmas...

my inspiration tag...
I love how Tim changes the creativity each and every day. Of course, I think that is the definition of creativity. Yesterday the tag was all about transparency and what is going on in the back of our tag that shines through so that we see in from the front. It was a favorite of mine thus far. But today he focused on what is happening on the front - gaining a new color dimension with paints, dry emboss, then clear heat embossing...a simple element for the embellishments and it still amazes me on the results. I remember back around 20 years ago or so, I stood over my electric stove embossing 100 Christmas Party invitations ( I should have asked for a heat tool for that year's Christmas) ...When the powder turns that brilliant almost glass like look, time and time again, it still makes me think -"Oh, wow there it goes." I changed a few things from Tim's original but that is the nature of creativity and inspiration. Here are my tips and switches....

*Instead of Paint dabbers, I used alcohol inks. This was due to 2 reasons, as I was getting the dabbers out, many of them had dried out :( and of the ones I did have, the colors were not "Christmasy" -the inks worked out great!
* I used my stazon after I sanded some of the color away.
* I used grungeboard to make my letters and then painted them and added stickles and silver brads.

a close up of "JOY"

As I was embossing the tag, I thought of how that powder doesn't look like much, in fact it looks like it will just disappear but when the heat comes close, we see those powders become clear, brilliant and then add depth to that which is already there. It reminds me of those that uplift us by a kind word, a nice gesture or yes, even a huge undertaking to help us and bring out the best in us. I thought of the refining process of our faith that Peter writes about in 1st Peter. As we are refined like gold, we reflect his love, his nature. I love that the Lord brings us light and life. It is his light, when poured over us, reflect all goodness and grace. It reminds me of the love God has for me. I am again reminded of a song perhaps not so lofty as yesterday but appropriate none the less--

"'This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." -- Are you singing along with me... I hope that your life reflects his light and that it brightens and lightens someone's else load. When Jesus, the King of Kings, chose to bring us light, it began in the manger. What a JOYful time of year this is.

"When a King's face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in Spring."

Monday, December 5, 2011

On the 5th tag of Christmas...

my inspiration tag...

I am so excited to be doing this little blog tag- along with all the creative taggers and of course the master tagger, Tim. You need to hop on ver to his blog and see all the wonderful inspiration that is happening. today was no exception. I loved the transparent technique on the plastic with the reverse imaging stamps- of course I have never seen those awesome stamps of his (hum, maybe that could be a stocking stuffer?) but I had done a little fragment last year with a snowflake stamp. It is such a fun technique. I need to add that more into my projects. I also didn't have today the die for the holly wreath. I have wreaths on my cricut cartridges but grungeboard doesn't cut as clear on the cricut as it does on the Big Shot. So I changed the direction of the tag....So here are a few of my tips and switches for this tag.

*I used a background stamp and a variety of green shades of alcohol ink for my plastic. I stamped the sentiment with stazon on a small piece of plastic and adhered it to a piece of white cardstock embossed with a snowflake texture plate.

*For the mitten, I adhered adhesive backed metal sheets to grungeboard, die cut the mitten and then embossed with the same snowflake texture plate.

* I used some fun yarn, pearls and silver bling to finish the tag...So much fun!

close up of sentiment and trims...

Of course, today the tag was about transparency...So my thoughts turned to a transparent life. I don't mean that everything we do or say should be evident to all..there are some aspects of our life that need to remain intimate, personal and even perhaps only God knows those thoughts, those struggles. But as Christians, we are to share Christ and the life changing message of redemption and grace. How do we do that? Just as the tag needed to be wiped away to reveal the transparent nature and make room for the white tag, our life needs to be wiped clean of self and make room for the nature of Jesus. Notice that the plastic tag kept some of the original colors. Just as we keep the wonderful gifts and talents that God gave us. These need not be wiped away but used to their full potential. I am reminded of an old hymn written in 1916 that echoes this very idea...

"Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and purity; May His spirit divine all my being refine. Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.''

"...Christ lives in me." --Galatians 2:20b"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On the 4th tag of Christmas..

my inspiration tag...

Today's tag proved quite challenging...It didn't start out that way. When I awoke this morning, I immediately checked Tim's blog for the 4th tag... I loved it (is that really a surprise?) not just for the inspiration but that I had the dies he used (minus the 25...I used the wish die instead), the grungeboard, some of the inks, and of course trinkets and treasures abound in my studio. The few things that I didn't have (such as the distress stains) did not appear to be a big deal.., But then the process began...I painted my grungeboard before Church and set out a few things. When we came back after lunch and a quick errand, I headed for the studio. Here's where it began to be a challenge...I die cut my first snowman (yes this in snowman #2) then die cut the perfectly... just backwards..So I began the painting over and began to work on my tag -I played around with the few stains I did have along with a little perfect was progressing but then my ink pads were dry, my snowflakes smudged, the plastic snowflakes (see Tim's blog) didn't look right. Of course I had glued them in the wrong place..then when I went to give the snowman a little color- his color didn't go with the tag....What to do? Stop...Clean the studio for clarity and then help Savannah with her Character Analysis of Moll Flanders (have you ever read such stories of mistress and mayhem..I digress.) Well then it was time to get back to the tag. I looked at the clock-to my surprise it was 4:30, I was no where near done with my tag... When things don't go quite right in the studio, I scrap what I am doing and start over.

I liked my snowman and thought what does he need? A soft palette, some snow and of course some winter roses...and a little sparkle.
a close up of the roses

So where did my afternoon of challenges take me...Sometimes in life, we seem to be in the right place and the right time but something continues to get in the way or we just can't get the job done, the to do list finished, somewhere something just doesn't work, it goes wrong...We think "Is it me? What did I do?" I am reminded of a wonderful example from the Old testament of this very thing - the right place, the right time, the right job...but Joseph found himself in a pit, in a prison and then many days (years) later something wonderful happened - he found himself in a palace. Joseph didn't know that sometimes the right place, the right time and even the right decisions do not get us to the right destination. There are circumstances and choices others make that affect us and we have to start over, searching for clarity but never losing sight of what the Lord would have us do. Just as Joseph couldn't explain why things didn't work out the way he thought they would, He kept on doing the things he knew to do. And with the Lord directing his steps, his destination was so much grandeur that he could ever imagine - a Palace.
Where will his directing lead you? His destination will surpass our wildest dreams..

"The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On the 3rd tag of Christmas...

my inspiration tag...

Today's tag posed a challenge for me as I didn't have the Christmas Stamp (that Tim used), the distress re-inkers or the holiday greenery die but I did have the twine, the jingle bell and the inspiration. Also, in my studio are pounds of paper (all in nice drawers or piles of pads), drawers of stamps, inks and of course treasures. Believe it or not, I did have the cut and dry felt he used. I am so glad for a refresher course on how to use that stuff. Now I know why I bought it (a long time ago, I might add). So I'll be on the look out for re-inkers and cool stamps to use for the cut n dry felt. But I did have fun with my tag...So here are a few tips to get this inspired look...

*A long time ago in the stamping world, we used markers or inks to color the different areas of our with inks in hand and a Christmas word stamp, I varied the colors of the words. I used muted tones as I wanted a soft effect.
*I sprayed the card with my own perfect pearl mist--In a small mister/sprayer bottle put water and 1 -2 scoops of perfect pearl (color of your choice). Spray paper and then heat with heat tool.
*For the leaves, I used leaves from a vintage wreath. The purpose of the wreath is just that--I use the leaves, flowers and yes, acorns when needed.
* Some prima flowers --ooh I love flowers!! and yes an acorn ( I have to admit that I thought it was a pinecone at first)...
*I inked the ribbon with my perfect pearl mister and then heat set it...Cool!!

a close up of the ribbon and the twine...

As I was working on this tag and looking back to tim's blog, I saw how neat his work area was and how his hands were free from ink and glue, how the pictures just captured what he wanted us to see....Contrast that to my work area....take a look.

Then I thought this is how life is...more like my studio than Tim's snapshot of technique and results. We do need technique, guidance and a place to learn. We need to see results, both positive and negative. But that can't be all of what we see. We need to see that real life can be messy, disorganized and that we all struggle to find the right balance, the right choice, the right piece, the right ink and paper that our life stories are written. It is the daily, the messy and the overwhelming that we must find the one who is our balance, our right choice our right peace, the one who has already written my life story...

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..."
Hebrews 12:2a

In this crazy, messy, overwhelming season, may our gaze be not on the right tree, the right gift, the right outfit, but on the one who takes our overwhelming mess and replaces it with his perfect peace and makes my faith perfect and complete.


Friday, December 2, 2011

On the second day of Christmas Tags...

my inspiration from Tim's 2nd tag....

I was up before the sun and my little hens...perhaps the anticipation of a new tag or better yet, a new day!! With coffee and iphone in hand, I headed to the studio to begin my 2nd tag. Today, Tim's tag used quite a bit of what I did not have (Are you surprised? So was I) such as kraft resist paper, sticky back canvas, the distress stain (picket fence), perfect pearl mister,the reindeer die,...but I had plenty of inspiration and many other avenues to create.

Here are a few switches that I made...
*Instead of resist paper, I used a music sheet paper from another pad
*For the distress stain, use acrylic paint watered down
*make your own sticky back canvas by using canvas paper (from a pad) and run it through your xyron, attach to grungeboard
*For perfect pearl mister, use a spray bottle with water and a small scoop of perfect pearl powder

I used the inks, ribbons, paints, trinkets that I had on hand..and I think the result is terrific. l love the idea of using what I have...this pushes me to be creative and inventive at the same time....What a jump start to a creative day!

I am reminded in daily life how much it draws parallels to my walk with the Lord. He doesn't ask me to be someone I can not be or to have or use something that I do not possess. He simply asks me to allow him to shape and mold me to who he knows I can be. His request of me is "Wherever you are, use what you have to make this world a better place." He doesn't send me with a shopping list to go and find all the things to make life perfect..He, being perfect gives life to all.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...who does not change like shifting shadows."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On the 1st day of Christmas....

My take on Tim's 1st tag....

my true love gave to me...the 12 days of Christmas Tags by Tim Holtz!! This year I am determined to follow along with many, many others as Tim refreshes and revitalizes our Christmas Spirit along with reminding us about our long forgottten art supplies and tried and true techniques with a few new ones thrown in. I love how Tim ( I met him only once but he is a friend to all) encourages us to make the tags are own and to use what we have on hand. And for me, I am blessed with a studio full of "on hand" trinkets, treasures, ribbons, inks, paper , die cutting systems (Yes I said "systems") and more. After today's tag, I still needed to get a few things..I realized I hadn't embossed in a while...needed an embossing pad, white embossing powder-I had every color under the sun but white...imagine that?? I will wait on the pine cone die but oooh, how I need that...perhaps want is the better word.

I can't wait to see what his tag is tomorrow. Did you know that he makes the tag the night before so it is ready to go up at midnight? He like the creative pressure....I like the creative calm so I'll gladly wait until I am up with the chickens to begin to create with Tim... I'll post my pictures as I complete the tags...wish me luck to finish each one in the same day...wish y'all were here with me creating and celebrating the season of giving....A bigger wish is that you will find a peace that passes understanding, a joy that is boundless and a love that knows no limits..I hope you will find our Savior under that tree, in a manger, bringing us light, life and love.

For unto us a child is born...And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sweet Hymnal Pumpkins

A quick lesson in using vintage papers... Yes the rage is vintage papers, ledgers, music, french/german writings from long ago, postcards, recipes, journals, the list is endless. Perhaps you even have a few pieces laying around your arts/crafts supplies. I love to find old dictionaries, novels ( I love the covers), sheet music ledgers, but my favorite of all has to be old hymnals. A sweet caveat to working with these papers is that I begin to sing the hymns and can hear my grandmother singing when I was a child and of course my parents (who are still very much alive) voices as well. If anyone passes by the studio during these moments, they can hear me singing "Tell me the story" or "Love Divine" . In fact, as I am writing this, the tunes are in my head. Music is powerful. Yet I digress. Some of you may be enamored with vintage papers until you begin to work with them and then you may become frustrated. I have been there a time or two myself. No one seems to want to say that these papers, albeit they are look we crave, are far less that perfect to work with. So I would love to share a few (certainly not all) tips of the trade when working with these papers...First and foremost, know the strength of the paper. For example, hymnal paper is thin..doesn't hold up to distressing, running through a xyron, and easily sticks to your fingers if you have to much adhesive. Sheet music such as Hanon's virtuosos are printed on heavier paper and can be distressed but if they are too old, they will break if folded. Ledger papers depending on the thickness may take to adhering to flat surfaces but will not do well with curved or intricate details. If there is any sheen to the ledger/journal paper, it will not take ink but some will take paint. Paint will create a stiffness, so adhere to your surface first then paint. Postcards can create great backgrounds but are so stiff that they will not work for rounded curves. They do make great transfers on to muslin or canvas. Some of the colors on the postcards can smear if they become inked or wet with adhesive. For some vintage papers, it is best to make a photocopy and use the copy on your work. As with any vintage papers, try to test a small piece of the paper in the manner that you want to use them. It will save you frustration in the end.

These little pumpkins are a great way to use hymnal paper. Each pumpkin took approximately 2 small hymnal pages. I'll take you through the steps with word pictures as of course (you guessed it), I forgot my camera during the process....
First you will need.. 2 small unfinished plain white ceramic pumpkins (Hobby Lobby last year) whatever thing you want to cover...hymnal pages, modpodge, (2) foam brushes, paint (color of your choice for the stems and the bottom), Ribbon, embellishments, tag, hot glue gun, hot glue.

Let's begin...
(1)Tear your hymnal pages into small sections a little smaller than the height of the pumpkin.
(2) Pour modpodge(mp) onto a palette (my mom did decoupage in the 70's with modpodge and it still has held up)
(3) Using foam brush, apply adhesive to one piece of paper at a time. Begin to smooth the piece with your finger. *tip..apply a small amount of mp to your finger so the paper will not stick to you.
(4) Continue to work the pumpkin, overlapping the paper. After you have covered about 1/4 of the pumpkin, let is dry. IF you continue to work, you will accidentally remove some of the other paper due to the drying of the adhesive and your sticky hands will pull off the paper that is dry (trust me, it happens).
(5) Work in small sections until the pumpkin is covered, making sure you are smoothing the paper in the curves with the foam brush. Once the pumpkin is covered , go over it with one more coat of mp- this will seal it and make sure all edges are secure.
(6) Once completely dry, begin to embellish with ribbon (securing it with hot glue) and other embellishments of your choice...I used shells and an old metal rose.
(7)Adhere tag with burlap string....
To make the tag, I stamped the scripture onto muslin and then stitched it onto a piece of burlap. Adding an eyelet to the corner, I used a piece of burlap string (the frayed piece) and secured the burlap with hot glue.
Here is the back side (Do pumpkins have a backside?)...
And another view....
I hope this will inspire you to use hymnal pages (as well as vintage papers) for your creative endeavors or to soothe you soul through song...this project did both.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!!! Psalm 136:1

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today's Treasures...

I wanted to share with you a few found treasures...some for inspiration, some for repurposing and some just as they are...

4 little "iron" chairs...have a few ideas for these little seat warmers...

The makings of an Apron from a vintage skirt..A little shiny purse for my "take-along" embroidery, buttons or this'n that,...
A ready made stencil in a frame....Look for some pillows soon.Not 1, but 2 pottery barn silver candle holders... I am in love with these. They were 99 cents each!!!
An beautiful old floral pitcher..either for flowers, paint brushes, markers,....
Lace motifs, lace flower appliques plus 4 pairs of embroidery scissors- for $1.50!!
A copper dish (needs a little clean up) but it certainly looks like this could hold some jute balls, shells or cute little gourds....
A weathered galvanized wine cooler...This deserves a great place...ooh but where???
And then for one of the greatest treasure that I came across today....

John 10:3b-4 He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all of his own, he goes ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice....(vs. 9) I (Jesus) am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. they will come in and go out, and find pasture.

I am so grateful to be a name not a number, not a nameless face in the crowd. Yesterday I ran across a sister of a College friend. She knew me many years ago, I ate dinner with them in College and visited quite frequently their parents home..This woman did not remember me...Heart breaking. Yet the One who is the Savior of the world is my Savior. He knows my name!!! As a horse/chickens owner, I understand that a leader is crucial. The leader gives security, peace and safety, nourishment andthe needs of life. He (she) is responsible for his flock, herd. Jesus promises that he'll lead me by still waters, he will keep me secure in the midst of strife, he will provide for all of my needs, In fact I shall not want.

Treasures come in all shapes, sizes, price tags and purpose. The trinkets make their way in to my home, my art, my gifts. Jesus' treasures makes their way into my heart and leads to the abundant life. Thank you for taking a treasure stroll with me. I would love to know what treasures have you discovered lately? Until next time,