Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washi tags

Every year I decide to make my own tags.  Some years they are pretty elaborate.  One year I cut tag shapes with my cricut and called it good.  This year, I've made a few pretty elaborate tags, but for the most part I am using shipping tags and washi tape.

I have tons of washi tape - does anyone ever finish a roll? So this is a great way to use some of it up and add a personal touch to my packages.  So I am layering on the washi, adding an embellishment or two, and calling it done.  Here are some examples.
You can create really different looks by mixing different washi tapes and placing differently.  And you can coordinate perfectly with your wrapping paper.  (Or just make tags you like and buy wrapping paper that matches your tags - I've done that before.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Using Scraps - Banners

Not everything in December can be about Christmas.  And over the weekend I really needed a break from the holiday rush.  So I decided to do a layout that is not about Christmas.  

When I'm working with my Studio Calico kits for the current month, I save every scrap - no matter how small.    So as the month ends, I tend to have lots of bits of patterned paper.  And I know I will throw some of them away when I mix the kit in with my stash, so I feel pressured to use them.

So this month I decided to mix lots of scraps to create banners to set off a photo block.  

The mix of colors and patterns created a fun, bright layout that was perfect for these pictures celebrating the one year anniversary of "gotcha day" with our sweet Jerry.  We adopted him from our local animal shelter, and he has brought us so much joy. 

But I was a bit stuck with title placement.  I finally decided to use the large wood veneer number like another banner and really love the way it works with the rest of the design.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Quick and Easy Christmas Card

This time of year is super crazy at my house.  No matter how often I say that we are going to have a relaxed and enjoyable holiday, it seems like everything goes nuts starting the day after Thanksgiving.  And this year is no exception.  So last week passed in a blur of holiday craziness with work and school squeezed in. 

But over the last couple years, I've learned that a few quiet minutes in my scrap room each day go a long way to maintaining my sanity.  So this weekend I was determined to get back on track.  My craft room is a disaster right now which makes me crazy, but I squeezed in some crafty time - the organizing is going to have to wait.

I woke up Sunday with an idea for a card inspired by paper from Studio Calico's card kit last month.  I knew it would come together quickly, so it was perfect project for this time of year. 

I started with a plain white card base - I know they are easy to make, but I buy them just because it makes things so quick and easy.  I trimmed the great tree paper from the Walden card kit so that it was slightly smaller than the card.  Then I added a piece of vellum over the patterned paper. 

I knew I wanted to create a simple cluster in the bottom corner of the card.  I pulled out the stamp from this month's embellishment kit - Waldorf.  It had a small pine branch that was just what I had in mind.  I stamped the image a couple of times with Studio Calico Color Theory Yes Peas Ink and made sure the images overlapped slightly.

For the sentiment I used the stamp from the Garland Road project life add-on (November 2014) from Studio Calico and Gold Galax Brilliance Ink.  I placed the image just to the side and below the branches.  I pulled out one of those "vintage" wood veneer "tweets" from Studio Calico to link my sentiment and pine branches.  I colored it a soft red with a pale tomato Hero Arts ink dauber.    It just took a few tiny gold star sequins to finish it off.

I love when a project is inspired by a paper or embellishment.  They always seem to come together so quickly.  Link me up with your last project inspired by a supply in the comments.  I will pick one link at random for a $5 Studio Calico gift card.  I will choose a winner on December 21 - that way you will have the gift card in plenty of time for the January kit reveal.

I still have to pick the winner of my holiday giveaway - hopefully in the next few days. It totally got away from me last week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 1, 2014


For the first time in more than 20 years, I wasn't hosting Thanksgiving.  So I had some extra time.  So I decided to make some special holiday tags.  (It was the perfect project because I could work easily in small bits of time and finish each tag pretty quickly.)  Plus I made a dent in my never-ending holiday stash. 

I started with 10 plain white shipping tags.  I laid them out on an old piece of cardboard like this.

 I pulled out my favorite multi-media product ever - the gold martha stewart liquid gilding and a foam brush.  (I've learned that foam brushes work really well with this product and, because they are so inexpensive, you can just throw them away when you are done.)

 I painted the tags with the liquid gilding and had 10 shiny gold tags that would serve as the base for my project.  The liquid gilding dries super fast, so I was ready for the fun part in no time.  I pulled out a box of miscellaneous christmas embellishments and started to put together different combinations of paper scraps and embellishments. 

The best part of this project was the ability to create a really different feel for each tag.  Here are some of my favorites.

 I love the vintage feel of this one.  And the soft texture from the scrap of handmade paper that is behind the Santa.  Initially the red twine was not a bold enough finish but when I doubled up, it was perfect.

 These colors are way less traditional, and the effect is much cleaner than the first tag.  I doubled up the twine again here for a stronger impact from the trim.

Tags are also a great way to experiment with different techniques.  I experimented with silkscreen and acrylic paint over the liquic gilding on this tag.  The result wasn't as clean as I wanted, but it still created a fun look.  Tags are a great place to experiment with techniques!

This is my favorite - I had been looking for a chance to use that plaid washi from Freckled Fawn.  And the deer from the Gossamer Blue Get Happy wood veneer is awesome (I used a couple coats of black color shine to color it).  I finished it off with wide red satin ribbon which helped to balance the visual weight from the deer.

And here is a picture of all 10 tags. 

Some of them will end up on gifts and others will end up as part of holiday projects (like my December Daily-ish album).  They were so much fun to make, that I will probably make more - and maybe with the silver liquid gilding.  I've never tried it.

If you have a chance experiment with some tags - they are fun, quick and inexpensive - and a great way to use up bits and pieces in your stash.

Thanks for stopping by.