Thursday, March 12, 2015

My March Tag And Lessons Learned

Happy Thursday everyone, hope this finds you well.  It's a blustery day here today, the wind is swooping and swirling in amongst the trees but it is still warm so I am not complaining!  The snow and ice are rapidly disappearing with the warmer temperatures and the wind will only speed the process so it's all good :O)

I finally have completed my March tag for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags Of 2015 challenge.  This month's tag was a struggle for me, I didn't have any of the Distress Paint colours that Tim used (click here to see his full tutorial), so I had to do some experimenting and learned some lessons along the way.  Here is my finished March tag;

I used Distress Stains for my background and ended up stamping some images onto the background with Jet Black Archival ink rather than using tissue tape (I'll explain why below!).

I didn't have a butterfly stamp that was the right size so I decided to keep with the 'winged' theme and used this lovely little bird instead.  The only texture paste I had was Wendy Vecchi's Crackle Embossing paste so I ended up with a crackled enamel effect around the little bird (which I rather like!) and as I didn't have an alphabet stencil like Tim used, I used a background stencil by Dyan Reaveley.

I kept with the general composition of Tim's tag but added some different embellishments;  I added the stamped and embossed number '3' (for the month of March) and used the 'Inspire' Philosophy tag on a wire pin on the top.

I wrapped the bottom of the tag with a piece of coffee stained twine and colored the winged heart with some Alcohol Ink and hung it off the twine with a little piece of rusty wire.  The sentiment was stamped and embossed onto a piece of cardstock, edged with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and mounted on some pop dots for a little dimension.

This tag was take number four, I had more than a few disasters and unexpected results as I worked on the March tag, and here are the lessons I learned along the way.

1)  'Regular' acrylic paint does NOT blend like Distress Paint.  No matter how much I'd love to use up my enormous stash of acrylic paints, the 'regular' acrylic paints do not have the consistency or blend-ability of Distress.  I tried to make it work but ended up spraying the painted tag with so much water that the poor thing disintegrated and still the acrylic paint would not blend.

2)  Embossing powder sticks to tissue tape that has not been sealed with paint!  This was why I ended up stamping my background images onto the tag rather than using tissue tape as Tim had.  It was disaster city on the second tag I made because the gold embossing powder was not only sticking to the texture paste background but was also clinging to all of the tissue tape.  At first I was a little ticked but then I began to see possibilities for future projects - clear embossing powder over top of tissue tape might be pretty darn effective!

3) Sealing the tissue tape with a thin layer of gesso will, to some extent, keep the embossing powder from sticking to the tape but it also dulls the colours of the Distress Stain.  Again, while not the look I was going for for the March Tim tag, it was something I will probably come back to as I quite like the end result.  Here's a picture of a tag I ended up making with the gesso'ed background;

The colours are quite muted but since that is definitely my comfort zone where colour is concerned I love it LOL!

Thanks as always for stopping by today and hope that you too will make some wonderful and unexpected discoveries as you play in your studio.  Happy creating!



  1. Hi Deb, I think both your tags are fantastic. I love the tie dyed effect of your bird tag but also think your muted tag is my favourite and the crackles are great. The problem with the embossing powders sticking to your tape.....have you tried using an anti static bag over your paper. This is like a small pillow bag filled with chalk powder which stops embossing powder clinging to the areas it shouldn't. Great to use when heat embossing. I have not tried over tissue tape but think would help.
    Julie xx

  2. Both tags are really nice. Too bad you had such trouble along the way. I think I know why I never got into powders, etc.! LOL! Maybe April's tag will be smooth sailing!

  3. These are beautiful. I don't know all of the proper terms but I think it's the embossing that I like adds so much texture and interest. Sweet hugs!

  4. Love your creations, I am always amazed at your wonderful talent. hugs,

  5. A learning curve is always a welcome thing. Run with those moments. It doesn't matter how many fails there are as long as you keep going. And look how wonderfully it all came together after all the trial and error. I love to experiment with things to find out what works and what doesn't. It's never a waste of time that's for sure. ;o)

  6. Wow Deb, I knew you would triumph!! I love both tags, but the vibrant colours on the first one sure do grab the eye!! Stunning versions, both of them!! OK, I guess it's my turn now, wish me luck! lol. hugs :)

  7. well of course i BELIEVE you when you say you struggled, but no one would ever guess that from the results! magnificent!!! & yes, SO COLORFUL!!! love it! :)

  8. Two great tags - I do like the bird surrounded by those lovely spring colours, but it won't surprise you to learn that the clock one is my favourite of the two. Well worth the struggle, and lovely results!
    Alison xx

  9. That's a great looking tag. Thanks for sharing all your new found wisdom. Experimenting is something I do a lot of since I don't usually have what you really need and I'm trying to use up what I do have.

  10. they came out beautifully!!! :) awesome job!!

  11. Two lovely versions of Tim's tag! I find it's always a learning experience with his tags - they never come out exactly like his - even when I have all the same supplies! I used Distress paints but must have used too much water as they came out very light - we are supposed to be creative and use what we have as well - nice job on yours!

  12. First-awesome tags! I love that you kept trying different things until you liked what you created. Second-thank you for sharing your struggle, and the achievement of finding what works with what you have! I love it when art takes you on a crazy journey. Hugz! ~Niki

    1. Thanks so much Niki! As Tim says, enjoy the journey :O)

  13. Wonderful take! LOVE the bird and the embossing you did!

  14. Very beautiful tag with fabulous colours and great background texture.

  15. Wow, such a fantastic tag, great details.


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