Wednesday, December 2, 2020

It's a banner! It's Tags! No wait, it's Ornaments!

 Howdy everyone! Getting into the Christmas spirit and doing a thing for the good folks at Alpha Stamps!

So, what is it? All of the above. I designed these tags so that they could be attached to garland or a stout ribbon and hug on anything that needs a bit of spiff. Hang the whole thing on your mantle or in a window, Christmas tree or door. Or divide them up and and hang them on your tree as ornaments, tags for a gift, anything you can think of. They are pretty enough to be the gift themselves. Hey, make a few pairs of really big earrings!


Here are a couple of groupings.....

This is a pretty straight forward, easy project that I had a lot of fun with. Here is where I started...

I had numerous sized tags from which to pick and I chose these large tags (6x3 inch) and the 4 1/2 x 3inch tags because I liked the amount of space they had for the images I wanted to use. And by the way, I love the papers I had to play with. It is Stamperia's Winter Tales and it is gorgeous, so go over to Alpha Stamps and get some! I think i may have used elements from just a bout every page of the 8x8 stack and a lot of the background strips from the 12x12. Love it!

So anyway, I used the tags as templates and cut out all of my background papers front and back for every tag. Then without a concrete plan other than the fact that I was pretty sure about what primary images I wanted to use, I started composing the pieces.

Some things stayed and some went, but I wanted to use some three dimensional elements and I love bottle brush trees, so I cut the stands off and using a pair of scissors, I cut the backs of the trees off so they would lie flat for gluing. Take my word for it, hold them over a trash can. Please. Just sayin'.

After I glued all the background papers on the tags, I cut out some trees and glued them on this tag. I tore some paper in a dark blue and glue that on top of the tree layer. Lots more dimension already!

I wasn't happy with the way the trees faded into the background so I painted matte medium over the tag (I used Liquitex, but you could use Mod Podge if that's what you have). After that dried, using a watercolor pencil,  I outlined the edges of the trees (not too thick) and gently teased the color out with a wet (but not dripping) brush, letting the color gently fade away.

Using matte medium before you use water on your scrap paper seals moisture away from the scrap paper, keeping it from getting soggy and fragile. And look! The trees have a bit of an Aurora effect. They stand out and it looks pretty.

My fairie girl looks like she wants to decorate the tree so let's go with that! I cut out a strip of patterned paper and glued it on to where the tree will be, you know, more layers, more dimension and it takes your eye to the tree. I used the same watercolor pencil technique around the edges of the the strip, to give congruity to the piece.

I decided I liked the 3D look the fairies wings had without gluing them flat so I gave them a bit of a curl and just glued her body down. 

I glued the tree down. It is sometimes difficult to add tiny ornaments to little bottle brush trees and this tree is only 2 1/2 inches tall. Soooo.....

I have a bunch of fancy straight pins with multi-colored pearl balls on the ends. Using a pair of sturdy cutter, I cut off the pointy end (hold it over a trash can and use safety glass if you have them) leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of metal. I dipped them into a puddle of glue and stuck them metal end down into the tree. They stay where you put them, which is a small miracle. After you do this everyting else on the tag is just adding little details like super tiny little iridescent snowflakes, lots of gorgeous German glass glitter and some Stickles glitter glue. I added lots of glittery bits with the idea that if these are used as ornaments they would sparkle and shine on a Christmas tree.

The basic steps I used here apply to all of the tags I made. I hope you give this a go and enjoy making them as much as I did!

For a complete list of all the beautiful, lush supplies I used from Alpha Stamps, click HERE


A Mini Tutorial on using watercolor pencils or in this case, Derwent Ink Pencils.

Both watercolor and ink pencils can be used, just play around and see which ones you prefer. I used a watercolor pencil on the Fairie tag above and these poinsettia tags were 'enhanced' with ink pencils.

Here's what I did.

This is so easy and so fun! First I put a nice coat of matte medium on the whole sheet of scrapbook paper. I like using Liquitex Professional Matte Medium, but you can use Mod Podge if it suits you.

Using a bit of the same kind of paper I will be using for the tags, I played a bit with some colors to see what I liked and how the pencils reacted to the paper. I chose my colors ( fucshia, cad orange medium, red violet, spring green, yellow green and sap green). This experimentation allows you to get used to how the pigments react to water (if you have never used watercolor pencils before) and see how the colors will look on the 'good' piece of paper you will be using without worrying about messing it up. Remember, art and creating should be a source of joy and fun, don't take it too seriously and don't worry about making mistakes. That is how we learn! Make a mess and keep going, you will improve with experience and experimenting!

This is what I put on my paper....I just roughly colored in a bit of the petals using a couple different colors and then using a wet paint brush (not drippy..swipe your brush over a paper towel -  it will help you control how much water you have on your brush. You will adjust to how much water you need on your brush to get the effect you want.

If you look at the flower on the bottom left side, you can see where I roughed in some color and am ready to use my brush to blend the color out toward the pointy outside of the petal. I did not color in the whole petal because the pencil color goes a long way! Better to start with too little than too much. Pretty soon you will be adding color and blending with confidence. 

After the flowers dried, I cut out what I wanted to use and proceeded to the steps in the fairie tag tutorial. It really is easy and I promise you, you will get better and better!


Remember, have fun! Don't forget the glitter!

Everyone stay safe. Thank you so much for dropping by!

Another surprise quickie step-by-step......