Embrace Life; Live in the Moment ~ A Mini Album from scratch!

1 front

I’m a scrapbooker, card maker, Melt Pot Marveller; Polymer Clay player … oh! and all sorts of other things – but I’d never made a mini album before.  But …  I decided to make one for my lovely parcel delivery lady.  She’s the best delivery person I’ve ever had, and I really appreciate her for who she is; her kindness; her concern, and how brilliantly she does her job.  She goes that extra mile – and nowadays it’s difficult to find someone who does this in their job! I love her to pieces for being so wonderful.  (… and yes, I have told her this, whilst giving her a hug).

She said some weeks ago, that she’d love a card or something I’d made – “just for me.  Just for myself”.  So I put my thinking cap on and thought about what I could make for her which gave a nod to all the things I knew she liked.  I wanted something which would have a theme of travelling – she is my parcel delivery lady after all, and she does a LOT of travelling – both in her job and because her family is spread over many miles.  But I wanted an album which could be for all those things plus:  Day trips with her family.  Holidays.  Moments in the car.  Things she’s seen while she was out and about, and snapped a photo of with the camera on her phone.  The Journey of Life in general.  (it could even be about her job if she wanted it to be).

I chose the papers ‘Celebrate the Journey’, which are made by one of my favourite paper crafting & rubber stamp companies:  Heartfelt Creations and various other bits and pieces which you’ll see in the following photos.

To begin with – I had to make the pages of the album on which I could work. 

Being the recycler that I am, I turned to my re-cycling box to find some stiff card which I could use to form the base for the pages.  I knew I wanted them to be firm – almost like thin wood, – but I also wanted them to be able to have a slight ‘bendibility’ to them, which would accommodate embellishments on the pages.  And this is how I made those base pages:

A

A HUUGE box of chocolates which was bought for Christmas last year.   I saved the box as I knew that it would come in handy for something at some point.  (I was right!) 😀

Took the sides of the lid and base, then cut out the sizes I needed for my pages.

Took the sides off the lid and base, then cut out the sizes I needed for my pages.

Glued some craft card to the re-cycled card, to make it rigid, then trimmed to size.

Glued some craft card to the re-cycled card, to make it rigid, then trimmed to size.

Once made, I scored down each page, to ensure that the pages all had a little 'bendability' to them, in order to accommodate any thick embellishments which I might add to the pages

Once made, I scored down each page, to ensure that the pages all had a little ‘bendability’ to them, in order to accommodate any thick embellishments which I might add to the pages

Once the pages had been constructed it was time to decorate.

I’m not going to talk you through how to decorate a page because we all decorate differently,  –  so I’ll just walk with you through the pages and you can look at the finished book as if I’d handed it to you.

The front of the album

The front of the album

1a front

close up of the handmade maps, the ‘Embrace Life’ ticket, brass postcard etc.

1b front

another ticket; another map – rolled up and tied with bakers twine; a metal embellishment: a butterfly.

1c front

Pages 2 and 3.  The little blue'ish' tag holder on the left hand page, actually opens.  It has a magnetic catch which keeps it closed.  You can open it by gently pulling on the silver dragon fly hanging on the silver chain.

Pages 2 and 3. The little ‘blueish’  tag holder, on the left hand page, actually opens. It has a magnetic catch which keeps it closed. You can open it by gently pulling on the silver dragon fly hanging on the silver chain.

The little 'book' opened, and the tags pulled out slightly from the hidden pocket.

The little ‘book’ opens, and the tags are pulled out slightly from the hidden pocket.

page 3.  (the tags do come out of the pocket).

page 3.   —  (the tags do slide out of the pocket).

pages 4 and 5

pages 4 and 5

All the tags are removable, and you can either write and journal on the back of them, or stick photographs to them.  You can also attach photo's to the book page, and glue notes, or journalling, or even glue the tag to the page!

Page 4. All the tags are removable from the pockets, and you can either write / journal on the back of them, or stick photographs to the tags. You can of course attach photo’s to the book page, and glue notes, or journaling, or even glue a tag to the page!  The little framed map is actually a photo frame.  You and insert a photograph into the frame from the top.  The map is a section I cut from a larger map.  It’s a map of somewhere which means something to Mrs. Delivery Lady and her family.

3b

Page 5

Pages 6 and 7.  Spaces for journalling or glueing.  Tickets; receipts; maps; mementos of a trip or journey - or even a sweet wrapper, which brings back a memory?

Pages 6 and 7. —  Spaces for journaling,  or:-  glueing  tickets;  receipts;  maps; mementos of a trip or journey – or even a sweet wrapper which brings back a memory!

Page 6

Page 6.  I hand stamped the bicycle onto the backing paper and then added the hot air balloon, which I die cut from an X-cut die and added the swing tag, which reads:  ‘Life – The Great Adventure’.

Page 7.  A pocket full of tags, and a photograph frame (the heart) - which has a journalling tag which you pull out and write details about the photo.

Page 7. A pocket full of tags, and a photograph frame (the heart) – which has a journaling tag which you pull out and write details about the photo.

...  page 7 ... what's behind the tags? .... now you can see for yourself!

… page 7 … what’s behind the tags? …. now you can see for yourself!

It was at this point that I wanted to put a little fun  . . .  my delivery lady has a huge sense of fun and she and her daughter love anything to do with fairies – so naturally …  it had to be Fairy inspired!   . . . .

Pages 8 and 9   …. and   . . . .   AND  . . .   ‘The Pocket of Secrets!’

Pages 8 and 9 …. and . . . . AND . . . ‘The Pocket of Secrets!’

 

In order to enter the realm of the fae, ... one must come with the right key! Can you pick out the right key?

In order to enter the realm of the fae, … one must come with the right key!
Can you pick out the right key?

The Pocket of Secrets. . . .   can you guess what's inside?

The Pocket of Secrets.
. . . can you guess what’s inside?

Inside 'The Pocket of Secrets' is a key, captured and sealed inside resin and attached to a metal charm, and ... a tiny vial of Fairy Dust!

. . . .   a key,  . . . .  and  . . . .   captured and sealed behind resin and attached to a metal charm, a KEY!   … and there beside it is ….  a the tiniest vial of Fairy Dust!

page 9.   What's behind the Fairy Doors? . . . .

page 9.
What’s behind the Fairy Doors? . . . .

A peep behind the Fairy Doors!

A tiny peep behind the Fairy Doors!

5c3

There’s a BIG tag behind the doors …. ‘Believe’  –  well do you?  ….  Do you see the tiny wish Bone? (it’s not a paper cut out, nor is it made from card or such like!)  …  ah,  but you can only make a wish if you truly believe, otherwise … how is your wish supposed to come true?

6 pages 10 and 11

Pages 10 and 11 ~ Somewhere to add notes, mementos,  and somewhere to add photographs and memories.

page 10.  This is a removable photo album - where each page can be removed, added to, written on, glued etc. . . .   and it's also hiding something ...

page 10  –  “A photograph is like a recipe.  It’s a memory of the finished dish.”  —   This is a removable photo book within the mini album! The whole of this smaller photo book can actually be removed from the album, and even, if need be, every page can be individually removed, to be written on or something glued to it etc. It’s a clever little detail which I loved!

6c pages of the little album

Pages of the smaller photo book. Each page has a section where the story of the photograph which will be attached below it, can be written.

The photo album is completely removable.

The little photo book is completely removable.

Hidden tags.

Hidden tags.

And that brings us to the back of the mini album…. 

7  The Back

I thoroughly enjoyed making this mini albumalthough it took me a handful of weeks to complete due to poor health.  I’ve been suffering with a chronic sinus infection which has, most days, totally wiped me off my feet.  My delivery lady knew that I was making something for her, and was so patient.  She never asked once about it.  I finally got to give the album to her last weekend, and I know that she’s been waiting for me to post photographs of the album on my blog here, so that she could tell her friends to come and take a peep at it.

So a big   ‘HELLOoooo’   to all new readers and fabulous friends of my delivery lady!

I know that my delivery lady will see that some of the photographs here might be missing tiny little details which are actually on the album in real life.  This was because I added little touches to the album after I’d taken these photo’s.

For those who might like to make something similar, or may be wondering about something I’ve used in the making of the mini, I add a list of the items and products used:

  • Heartfelt Creations 12×12 Celebrate the Journey papers.
  •       ”                   ”         Timeless Clock stamp
  •       ”                   ”          Celebrate the Journey Sentiments stamps
  •       ”                   ”          Time Sentiments stamps
  •       ”                   ”          World Map stamp
  •       ”                    ”         Bike Stamp
  • Spellbinders (for Heartfelt Creations) Once Upon a Time Die
  • Brass Postcard embellishment
  • Assorted Brads
  • Dragonfly Metal Embellishment
  • Resin Blue Butterfly
  • Papermania ‘All Aboard’ Kraft Luggage Tags
  • Crafters Companion Stick and Spray
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Shine
  • Anita’s Clear Gloss
  • Graph ‘it Glitter Gold Shake it Pen
  •    ”           ”      Silver    ”     ”  Pen
  • Pigma Micron 01 Archival Ink Pen
  • Assorted ink pads – Memento;  Tim Holtz;  Staz-on
  • Map cut from an old(ish) British map book
  • Tonic Header Dies
  • Tonic Corner Dies
  • Tonic Fairy die.
  • Creative Expressions Gilding Waxes – Greens, Blues, Lavender.
  • Pinflair Gentle Blends in various colours (Denim, Teal,
  • Ranger Melting Pot
  • Dovecraft Ric Rac in Black
  • seam binding / glitter ribbon / string / silk ribbon / Bakers Twine – used for ties, tags, bows and decorations etc.
  • Kraft/craft card
  • Black ‘Linen effect’ card
  • Tim Holtz Idealology metal  keyhole
  • Ranger Stickles in various colours
  • Spellbinders Die  D-lites ~ Birds Scroll.
  • Sheena Douglass embossing folder
  • Assorted tags – both bought and hand cut, but all decorated and adorned by me.
  • Resin birds in flight.

…… and various other bits and pieces which I’ve probably forgotten to add to this list. 

If there’s anything you can see in the photo’s which I haven’t mentioned in the above list, but you want to know about it, please just ask in a comment.  I’m more than happy to help.  If there’s a certain something in the photographs which you’ve spotted and need to know how I did something etc etc  … again, please feel free to askI’m not one of those people who won’t share things.  I’m more than happy to help fellow craftersjust leave a question in the comment section and I promise to reply.

Thank you SO much for stopping by and taking the time to read and have a look at the photographs.

Finally … a message to my lovely delivery lady …  I’m sorry it’s taken me a week to get these photo’s onto my blog.  I’m being invaded by germs!  eeeeeeeek!  But I got there in the end 😉

Have a truly lovely weekend everyone.  Me?  I’m too blessed to be stressed about being so poorly, so I’ll carry on carrying on!  😀

Cobs siggy sml

Advertisements

Wings of Peace, Courage and Love.

Wings of Peace Courage and Love 1

In my last post I said how difficult I found making ‘Sympathy’ cards, I think because it’s so difficult to accurately gauge the deep, all-encompassing pain which descends upon someone when they suffer the loss of a loved one.  So it came as quite a surprise to find myself making yet another ‘sympathy’ card, – this one very much different from the last one.

I had my Ranger Melting Pot (aka The Cauldron) out the other day and made a few things, putting most of them on one side for projects at some other point.  One of the things I made was the Angel Wings you see on the card above.  I got the little box out where I’d stored them along with the other items I’d made and the moment I picked up the Angel Wings and held them in my hand …  I knew I should make another sympathy card, this time using them as the feature embellishment on the front.

I laid the wings onto my desk and looked at them for a minute or so.  They were lovely – but there was something missing.  Took me a moment to figure it out.  Wax.  They needed high-lighting in pearl wax so that the individual feathers came to life and caught the light.  It took just a minute to do – but they looked so lovely once I’d polished them to a shine.  (Nicer than in the photographs – but sadly I’m not a great photographer so please make allowances for me being rubbish with a camera!)

I went through my stamps to find the right one which would be suitable to use – and although I stamped out several of them (wasting card like it was going out of fashion) – none of them were right.  They were either the wrong sentiment, or they were the wrong type face for the words.  In the end I decided that I’d print my own words, using my computer and my printer.  That’s when the ‘fun’ began.

It took me  a very hot  one and a half frustrating  [insert appropriate swear wordhours just to get that sentiment from the computer to my card!  I had to work out where I needed to place the typed words on a word type document that I was looking at on the ‘puter screen – which would mean it would be in the right place when I put my card through the printer.

(Again – this resulted in more card being put into the ‘trim off the rubbish bits and put the rest into the ‘scraps’ draw’ pile.   Grrrr!)

Seriously – it was frustrating to the point that my sensible mind telling me to:   “just give up woman, you’re not going to get this right!” the problem was  →  I was determined that it wasn’t going to beat me.

Wings of Peace Courage and Love 2

Then suddenly all the planets aligned.  There was a Star to the East.  My Lottery Numbers came up and ….  well no, actually that didn’t happen  . . .   but it certainly felt like it did when the printer delivered the perfectly placed sentiment, with the right font,  right place and right colour.   Ta DAHHHH!   (Was that a choir of Angels I heard singing?  At this point I really wouldn’t have been surprised.)

I attached the wings to the card using a mix of two glues – one an ‘instant’ fix – which was the hot glue gun.  The other one a glue which needs time to dry, but dries clear and holds well.  Then it was time to deal with the inside.

I didn’t feel it needed me to add words to the inside of the card,  but instead leave it blank inside so that the sender could write a short, or long note of condolence depending upon how they themselves felt.

Instead I decided upon a single creamy white Angels feather, tied with a bow of satin ribbon, attached to the inside of the card.

Wings of Peace Courage and Love 3

And that was it.

It’s quite a simple card  (or would have been, was I not so technically challenged!)  and once I’d got the positioning right of the sentiment, it was easy to pull it all together.  However – I think it’s perfect in its unfussy, simplicity.  It conveys the right feeling, in the right way, but it doesn’t go over-board.  I think I got the balance just right on this one and I love the finished card.

Wings of Peace Courage and Love 4

I think I got the balance just right on this one.  I really love the finished card and hope you like it too.

Have a happy Sunday.  I hope the weather is kind to you and that peace rests in your heart and soul today, where ever you are. 

Have a truly blessed day, all. 

Cobs siggy sml

 

Forget me Nots ~ on an ~ ‘In Sympathy’ card. 

Forget me Not 1

I love making cards, it’s one of my favourite things to do, however, there is one type of card that I find ‘difficult’ to make – and that’s  ‘In Sympathy’  cards.

How do you second guess someone’s pain?  How do you know what they’re going through, so know how to address the traumatic time they’ve found themselves in?

I realised today that I hadn’t made a ‘sympathy’ card for my blog, so thought I’d put myself to the test and make one.

I wanted to make something which would be the right card for several options.  If someone wasn’t a believer, then I didn’t want to push a religion upon them by saying that I was praying for that person – as some folks are so anti-religion that a card of that type could cause the person concerned to feel offended – so in the end I decided to opt with the sentiment you see on the card above.

The card is (was) based around those little blue flowers you see running down the card on the right hand side.  If you’ve already seen my post in the ‘Ranger Melt Pot’ category, then you’ll know that I made those flowers especially for this card.  I wanted to make  Forget me Not  flowers to put on this card, and I wanted them to be blue.  So I set about making them using the Ranger Melt Pot.  Once made, and with the addition of a little gilding wax (and a polish) – the flowers were perfect, so I set about making a very simple card – but one which you could feel the love which the card was made with.

Forget me Not 2

Made on a brilliant white 6″x 6″ scored and folded card;  I partially embossed the front of the card using an embossing folder from the Sheena Douglass range.

Forget me Not 3

The sentiment is a stamped image from a collection of Stamps made by Heartfelt Creations, which I stamped in black,  then die cut (using a Spellbinders die) and  gently inked around the very outer edge, using the same black ink as the sentiment was stamped with.

The butterflies were die cut using Tonic Dies.

The addition of a short length of black satin ribbon and the card was made.

Frye Poemclick on the picture ↑ to make it bigger so that you can read it.

Thank you SO much for visiting. I hope you like the card, and the post too!   

If you’d like to leave me a comment, it’s easy to do:  Just scroll up to where you see the title of this post  (Forget  me  Nots on  ~  An  ‘In Sympathy’  card.)  and look just to the right of that title.  You should be able to see a grey speech bubbleIf you can’t see it, just move your mouse cursor to the left of the title – the speech bubble turns red when you roll your cursor over it.  Click that speech bubble,    it will open up any comments that have been made already – so that you can read them if you wishand it will also give you a comment box where you can type your own comment.

You can do this on every post, in every category on the board.

Wishing you all a truly blessed Thursday.  Have a wonderful day.

Cobs siggy sml

 

 

I Made Flowers – In an enjoyable half an hour of playing with my cauldron!

line of Flowers 1“You made flowers?  What sort flowers?”  I hear you ask.

I did.  I actually heard you ask ‘what sort of flowers’.  (Ok, well maybe I didn’t, but you were thinking it I bet.)

I needed to make some flowers, but I wanted them to be light in weight, and not able to be flattened out by the postal system, like a paper flower would be.  So I got out my Cauldron  aka:  Ranger Melt Pot,  and decided that I’d hubble, bubble some flowers up.  I looked through the silicon moulds I have which I could use and decided upon the one in the photograph above.

But … I didn’t want to just make one line of flowers.  It felt like an extravagance to get the cauldron going if all I was going to do was make that line of flowers at the top of the mould above.  So I got a few moulds out with the thought that I could make a few bits and keep them on one side for another time.

Ranger MELT Pot line of flowers1

There.  That would make it worth while!

Half an hour later the flowers were made and this is what they looked like:

Line of Flowers before wax

Actually … there’s more than the three in that photograph above, but I wanted you to see what they look like before I’d ‘fancied’ them up a tad.  They’re pretty, and I love how the colour turned out.  I used white ultra thick crystals and mixed in some Cosmic Shimmer Crystal Colour Drops, in Azure Blue to obtain that colour – I just added a drop at a time until I felt that I’d reached the colour I had inside my head.

Although the flowers were pretty, I wanted them to have some ‘oomph’ – a bit of a noticeable punch so that they weren’t so ‘flat colour’ looking.

This is how they turned out with some Gilding Wax applied gentlywith my ringer finger. . .

Line of Flowers waxed and unwaxed comparison

The three on the right have had some Gilding wax applied, and the three on the left are exactly how they were when I turned them out of the mould.

What did I want a line of blue flowers for?  Ahh… go and check out the Handmade Cards category on this blog and you’ll see what I did with them!

Love ~

Cobs siggy sml

In order to enter the Land of the Fae, you must come with the RIGHT KEY. ~ Tag Art part 4 ~ a Pictorial Tutorial!

The finished Tag. This one is really easy and the steps to make it are all done in photographs. (yes - it's THAT easy!)

The finished Tag.
This one is so easy that the steps to make it are all done in photographs.
(yes – it’s THAT easy!)

Another tag art tutorial,  – and this one is so easy that I’ve done all the ‘instructions’ by photographs, and just adding a note or two if I felt I needed to.

Remember … your own finished tag might look totally different to mine:  you might not have butterflies in mind, but baking or tool sheds.  You might want to do a tag about caravans or sewing, or fishing or cooking … or just about anything.  It’s not the things I’m using or the colours or even the tag shape or size.  This is more about how to pull a tag together.  The steps.  The ideas.  Sort of like a flow chart.

If, after seeing the picture tutorial you feel that you want to make a tag with the same ‘feel’ or similar colours etc etc – then you can get your own stuff together and come back and look at the pictures again as you make your own tag if it helps you to put things in order.  However – I’ll tell you the things I’ve used to make this tag, as we go along, so that if you want to make one like it, or like a particular colour or ‘thing’, then you’ll have the information to get that ‘thing’.

Shall we start?  OH... and rememberit’s Tag Art – it’s not brain surgery.  No one is going to test you on it, or even mark your results to see if you’ve passed the test.  It’s just a bit of fun,  . . .  and you might make something you love so much that you’ll want to frame it and put it on your wall.  Or make it the main attraction on the front of your next handmade card!   (Who knows … you might end up being the next big mixed media artist of the art world!)

Land of the Fae 1

A NOTE ABOUT PINFLAIR GENTLE BLENDS:     If you haven’t used  Gentle Blends before –  I can highly recommend them.  But .. don’t ‘dab’ up too much paint as it goes a long way with just a little medium.  The open pots (see the top right for an open one) have the medium in the base and a sponge on the top which soaks up the medium and that’s where you gently and sparingly dab your sponge to pick up the medium and put it on your project.

Land of the Fae 1a

I coloured the whole of the tag in Teal.      The little off white patches that you see on the tag are where the tag picked up some glue off my glass mat.  Don’t worry about things like thatthey kind of add to the charm of a tag.  But .. if you hate it, then you could gently rub the area where the glue is with an emery board to remove the glue.  Failing that .. stick something on top of the glue and hide it.  No one will ever know it was there!

Land of the Fae 2Another colour  … blended in a sort of oval around but leaving the central part of the tag still teal.

Land of the Fae 3

More Gentle Blends:  this time in ‘Denim’.  It’s a lovely colour,  and a little darker, and slightly warmer than the two other colours.  The idea here (all the different colours)  is that you’re drawing the eye into the centre.  You’re giving the ‘view’ of looking into somewhere lovelysomewhere like … a woodland fairy glade.

Land of the Fae 4

Now remember … although I’ve embossed using a Sheena Douglass embossing folder (shown here with a bit of dark card inside it so that you can see the whole of the embossing ‘picture’ that’s available on this folder) you might not have that particular folder, so use something which will ‘go’ with your own project.  A tree.  A fish.  A window.  Some flowers.  Whatever you have, use that.

BUT .. if you don’t have an embossing machine then that’s fine too!  You could use stickers.  Add some stickers in the right places – but don’t go crazy with them.  You don’t want to over-crowd your tag.  Three/four/five stickers would probably be fine.

OR…  if you don’t have stickers  –  then use  pencil/pens/markers – and draw something which ‘goes’ with the theme of your tag.

Land of the Fae 5Not too much warm brown … just enough.  Don’t muddy the colours you’ve already got there.

Land of the Fae 6

Be very sparing with black on your tag (Unless your tag is a dark, deep looking tag which you’re going to put brighter colours on top of).

Black can turn a card into something way different from you started out making.  So keep stopping and checking.  Pick up your tag and hold it at arm’s length.  Squint at it (half close your eyes)  if it helps you to see it in a sort of ‘detached’ view.

Land of the Fae 6aA photo looking ‘across’ the tag so that you can see a little of the depth to the embossing.

 

Land of the Fae 7

But, I hear you ask… What if I don’t have any gilding wax?” 

No problem.    Find some paints or ink pads or even water-colour pencils – anything which will allow you to pick up colour on your finger – and put a tiny bit of either paint, or chosen colour of ink pad, or water-colour pencil (which you’ve added the water from a barely damp brush to),  on a glass mat, or blending mat, or heat/glue resistant mat – …   – and then using your ring finger (ring finger because it gives the lightest ‘tap’), tap a little of your coloured medium onto your finger and gently either dab or stroke it onto the tag where you want the colour to be.

Land of the Fae 7a

Land of the Fae 8‘Metal’  –    I missed the word ‘metal’  from the above – it should have read ‘with a larger, vintage looking, metal butterfly’.

Land of the Fae 9

Land of the Fae 10

Land of the Fae 11

Another reminder:  If you’re doing a tag about golf or fishing or baking or sewing orwell whatever your tag is themed around – then use the eyelet hole to attach a fishing rod; golf club (mini one not a big one silly! lol);  rolling-pin or something bakery themed; sewing machine embellishment etc etc etc.

A close up of the key and the brad holding the key in place.

A close up of the key and the brad holding the key in place.

11b

The two extra tags … I’d printed out some words which I die cut with a free set of three dies which I’d got with a magazine about a year or so ago.  I die cut the words on the white paper,  using the medium sized die;  and then cut a tag in brown card using the largest die.

I blended some of the teal Pinflair Gentle Blends – this was from the teal remaining on the sponge (I didn’t add any extra), around the outside of the white tag and then glued the white tag to the larger brown.

I worked out where the hole for the brad and key had to go and once I’d ‘threaded’ the key onto the brad and pushed it through the star eyelet hole, I then popped the glued together tags onto the back and opened the ‘wings’ of the brad behind them so that everything was held together, but the tags were able to move freely and so could be opened and closed behind the big tag.

close up of the tags, so that you can read the words.

close up of the tags, so that you can read the words.

Almost finished!  . . . 

twit twoo!

twit twoo!

Finished!

Finished!

I’ve taken this last photograph without the flash so that you could see the details all together ‘as one’.

If you saw it with the naked eye, it glints and twinkles and actually does have something magical about it, which kind of makes your eye dance across the tag from one place to another.

I so hope that these ‘pointers’ are helping anyone who has some doubts about making tag art.  There really isn’t anything to it.  You just have to remind yourself that it’s only a tag and if you make a mistake … it’s not a mistake.  It’s a happy accident which happened because something is trying to tell you to use that ‘happy accident’ as a kind of road sign and telling you to go ‘this’ way.

Thank you so much for coming and for having a read.  Take a look around while you’re here!

Have a truly fabulous rest of your day.  Happy Crafting all!

Cobs siggy sml

 

 

 

Tag Art – Part 3.

In part three of this ongoing ‘explanation’ of Tag Art, I’m hoping to show you not to be discouraged by some of the fabulous pictures of Tag Art which you’ll find on the internet, particularly on Pinterest.  The Tags I showed you last time (in part two) were simple enough to bring together without breaking out in a sweat or giving you the feeling that you could never achieve anything like the little flower tags which I produced last time.  This tag, which you’ve had a glimpse of (above) is just as simple as the flower tags!  There are just a few extra bits and pieces on it and a couple of ‘techniques’ which are so easy that I know a child could cope with them.  Aw, enough talk, let’s get going shall we?  ….

If you decide to create along with these photo’s then remember that the theme of your tag doesn’t have to be ‘Alice in Wonderland’, it could be any thing you want.  Rabbits … Cats… Dogs… Travel … Balloons … even colours!  But to start with you might find it easier to get the results you’re after if you start off with an idea or subject in mind where you can find up to roughly five or six different things about it which will pull the whole thing together and make the tag have some sort of ‘dialogue’.   A kind of ‘story’.  Things which relate to each other in some way.

I started with ...  a few tiny cards and some tags ...

I started with … a few tiny cards and some tags …

I’d had these little cards for a while, given to me by another crafter, but I’d never had a chance to use them.  The Tag itself was from a pack of cheap tags which I’d bought on impulse for about 60p from  The Works (UK cheapy book & stationery store).  The tags were a little too thin individually, so in order to ensure that they would take the weight of some embellishments I glued three tags together with Collall glue – which I love for crafting as it dries quickly.

Three tags glued and ready … time to dress this tag up!

Let's get our finger tips mucky!

Let’s get our finger tips mucky!

Because I knew I wanted to have a gentle Steampunk look to the tag I ‘distressed’ the edges of the tag with some die from my quick drying ink pads.  I started off with a warm, rich brown (which you can see in the photo above), and using a make up sponge (yes – just cheap make up sponges that you can buy in the £ shops – I just use them and throw them away), I fold over the sponge and dabbing it onto the ink pad to pick up some ink, then  gently blend it around the edges of the Tag.  At this point I should advise that the best place to do this blending is either on a blending mat (see mine in the photograph above) OR on a glass mat.

I know you can buy expensive glass mats for crafting (I even have one) but you don’t need to pay the prices that they charge for those.  One of those glass kitchen chopping boards that they sell for just a few pounds work in exactly the same way.

After blending the brown, I then changed to a black ink pad and very lightly blended a narrow pale smudge of the black ink around the edges.  It just gives it a depth.

Shall we stamp?

Shall we stamp?

I’ve got an assortment of different stamps and chose one which said ‘Believe’, mounted it onto a rocker block (but a mount of your choice is fine) and using a cheap ‘Ink it Up’ embossing pad, I stamped the word out onto the Tag –  but because I wanted a distressed look to the stamping I didn’t press too hard, so that the eventually embossed image would be a little bit patchy.  I then chose a teal/navy type colour to emboss the word with, went to work with the heat gun!

Well would you Believe it!

Well would you Believe it!

… and this was the result.  Because the word was a tiny bit patchy, I made sure that you could read what the word was by inking around the word using a very fine tipped Staedtler pen.

Alice Tag 3a

A close up so that you can see the pen lines.

Now at this point I’ll just interrupt proceedings to say … you should ‘tag’ your Tag Art just as a fine painter would sign his signature on an oil painting.  You don’t want someone else telling folks that they’ve made that incredible tag when it was really your sweat and tears which made it, do you!

Here’s what I use to ‘tag’ my Tag Art:

Tag the Tag Art!

Tag the Tag Art!

I bought this as an unmounted rubber stamp about six years ago – I think through Ebay.  But you really don’t need a specialised stamp.  You could either just sign your name on the reverse of your tag – or if you want a stamped image, there’s a plethora of general stamps which have a variety of different tag shapes – and you could choose one of those, which would give you the opportunity of naming your tag and signing it inside the frame of the stamped image, which would give it the importance it deserves!

You could, if you wanted, get a stamp made for yourself with your own design.  (But check ebay for cheaper alternatives!)

You could, if you wanted, get a stamp made for yourself with your own design. (But check Ebay for cheaper alternatives!)

Right, we’ve glued, blended and generally got the tag all ready for some decorations.  Let’s get going on those shall we?

My ‘theme’ for this tag was to be decided by those little playing cards. 

I could have done a tag about magic tricks … perhaps some white gloves to go with the cards?  … or hmm.. what ‘thing’ has playing cards featured in it?  I wondered….  ahh… Alice in Wonderland!  Ok..  I found my theme.  What did Alice in W.  have in the film?  A mirror (both in AiW and in Alice through the Looking Glass) …  Roses!  – the song: “we’re painting the roses red …”  …  A bottle with a tag saying  ‘Drink Me’!  Ohhh… now we’re getting somewhere!

The Mad Hatter!  The White Rabbit!   

The ideas came thick and fast… I had to write them down because my memory is shot to pieces!

Ok … got the ideas.. now I had to come up with the goods from the stock I had in my craft room:

I'll make the mirror ... and the little bottle which Alice drinks from!

I’ll make the mirror … and the little bottle which Alice drinks from!

Initially I thought I would use a little glass bottle on the tag, to represent the bottle Alice drinks from, but I didn’t have a bottle small enough .. (well no, actually that’s not true.  I do have some, I just couldn’t find the darn things!).  I got out my  cauldron  melt-pot and some supplies:-  Silicon moulds – one in the shape of a little bottle, and the other in the shape of a mirror.  Pearl Ex Powders to give some gentle, shimmering colour to the mirror and bottle, (you can use general Mica powders if that’s what you personally use).  Cosmic Shimmers Clear Ultra Thick embossing powder.  Cosmic Shimmer Melt Pot Ink in red.  And some Pearl Ultra Thick embossing powder.  I set to work:

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.  Fillet of a Fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt, and toe of frog . . . . “ etc etc etc (words courtesy of Shakespeare)

A peep into the Cauldron - I mean - the Melt Pot!

A peep into the Cauldron – I mean – the Melt Pot!

You know what the best thing is about the Melt Pot?  If you ever don’t like what you’ve made you simply throw it back into the pot, melt it and start again!

See that little pink blob in the well at the wide end of the melt pot?  It was a bottle which over-flowed the mould, so when it had cooled – just a minute or two – I put it back and did it again!

The cauldron has done it's work.  Aw, don't you just love magic spells? (lol)

The cauldron has done its work. Aw, don’t you just love magic spells? (lol)

The little rose that you see in the photograph above was one which I made when I last had my melt pot out.  I’d got some extra cream/white coloured liquid left so I used it up making a few flowers.  Originally the Rose was actually this creamy white colour:

Alice Tag 11a

I should have taken a photograph of the rose(s) before I coloured them but got craft happy and totally forgot!   tsk tsk!   I used some Creative Expressions gilding wax on the roses and then brushed some lovely rose-red and warm rose-pink mica powders onto them to change them from their original creamy colour to the red.  (sings:)  “Painting the roses red,  yes painting the roses red.  Not pink   Not green.  Not aquamarine . . . ”  etc etc etc

The Mad Hatter has visited and loaned me his hat!

The Mad Hatter has visited and loaned me his hat!

Next was the Mad Hatters hat.  Quite a distinctive hat.  Now I’ve recently been bought a gift of a Tonic Die which cuts a Top Hat … so I was lucky with this.  BUT … you don’t need to have a die which will cut a hat.  The hat is a simple enough shape but if you’re not confident with drawing one then just find an image on the internet and print it out onto cheap printer paper and you can then just draw around it onto your black card stock and cut it out.  Simples.   I cut the matte black part of the hat above on my die cutting machine, and then I drew around the actual hat die itself onto some dark mirror board, (which I then cut out with scissors)  so that I could sit (glue) the matte black top hat on top of it and give the top hat a bit of ‘life’, where the light caught on the edges of the mirror card.

10/6 ?  -  cheap at half the price!

10/6 ? – cheap at half the price!

I added a little dark ruby-red rayon seam binding (regular ribbon would work just as well), made the 10/6 price tag & added it to the hat band with a dab of glue.

The hat pin is made from the cut off end of a cocktail stick,  which I coloured in silver paint, added a black round bead to the end and then tucked it behind the ribbon with a little glue to keep it in place.  For a bit of twinkly sparkle, I added the ultra twinkling flat backed embellishment.  But … although the hat looked the part, I felt it looked too ‘new’.  It needed to look dusty or a bit old and shambles  sort of thing … so in order to get a look of ‘dusty’  –  I dribbled a very light line of white pva glue and sprinkled a little Flower Soft onto the glue and left it to dry.  It was the nearest thing to dust that I could manage in a crafty way.

So ..  We’ve now got the Mad Hatters Hat … but where should we put this?  It’s big, so I want it to go in the right place – but I don’t want it to shout louder than the other things on the tag … so where shall I put it?  How about here?   … or Here?   …

…  or should I put it here?  …

... or do I think this way looks right?  Yup ... The Mad Hatters Hat should be at the top there.

… or do I think this way looks right? Yup … The Mad Hatters Hat should be at the top there. (oh.. see what I mean about it looking too ‘new’ without the ‘dust’? This photo was taken before I’d added the The Flower Soft, which gave it that certain ‘thing’ which it was missing)

Yes … right there.  That’s exactly where it should be!

SO:  ––  We’ve got the mini playing cards …. for the Queen of Hearts  playing card soldiers

mini playing cards

mini playing cards

The Red Roses from the song: Painting the Roses Red …

"painting the roses red, we're painting the roses red!"

“painting the roses red, we’re painting the roses red!”

…  The little bottle with the tag on it saying:  Drink Me! Which I made in the Melting Pot …

Drink Me ... oh do Drink Me!

Drink Me … oh do Drink Me!

And … hmm…  well I made a little hand mirror but somehow it doesn’t look right.  It’s too showy.  Too (almost) bossy.  It’s trying to be the star of the show and that just isn’t right.  No.  I decided that the mirror just wasn’t right … so I had a bit of a search round the craft room and came up with the very thing which was missing ….

The White Rabbits Watch! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm .... over-due, I'm in a rabbit stew ...." eeek!

The White Rabbits Watch!
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m …. over-due, I’m in a rabbit stew ….” eeek!

Aw, of course!  It was the White Rabbits fob watch which was missing! 

I played around with things until I felt they were in their rightful places and then one at a time I fixed them into place.  Some with good old PVA glue,  others with foam pads, and the rest with my faithful friend:  hot glue from my trusty glue gun.

The Alice Tag - May 2014

The Alice Tag – May 2014

I added a aubergine coloured ribbon and VOILA!  One almost Steampunk (but not quite), Alice in Wonderland Tag.

The Tag could now be used as a fancy gift tag on a gift to someone special.  It could be framed in one of those box frames.  Mounted to the front of a card and given for someone’s birthday.  Put into a box just for you to look at.  Put into an album or folder which you keep all your tags in.  Or anything that your imagination can come up with.  You could even sell it on Etsy;  Ebay;  Facebook;  Craft Fair…  or any other place which you might sell your art work.

Or you could do what I do …  I have a huge clothes peg (the type you use to pin your clothes to the washing line, but huge) – which is meant as a memo holder or photograph holder.  I use two of them in my craft room and pin bits of artwork to them.  I use one of them to pin the latest bit of something which I’ve just made, and that way I get a moving bit of artwork which never stands still!

This is it,  pinched in the pincers of the peg … on my craft desk.  (yes that’s all my junk  specialist, important equipment behind it which I’ve blurred out so that you can see the tag rather than the junk gorgeous, crafting stash stuff.)

Alice in a Tag made  by Cobwebs

Alice in a Tag
made
by
Cobwebs

And ..  shall I tell you a secret?  …  This tag was made totally from stash in my craft room that I already had.  Most of it I’d had for ages.  The newest thing (apart from the Tonic Die I used – which was a gift) has to be that little fob watch.  I’ve had that about nine months (roughly).  It was a cheap and cheerful pack of four different watches for 99p.  See … you really don’t have to go to any big expense to make Tag Art.  They pretty much make themselves!

Well, there endeth Part 3 of  Tag Art – right from the beginning’.   I hope you’re not asleep across your keyboard!  But if you are ….

WAKE UP AND GO AND CRAFT SOMETHING!

Tsk tsk … can’t have you sleeping when you could be crafting, now, can we?

Thanks for taking the time to come, visit and have a read.   Have a really great rest of your day. ~

Cobs siggy sml

P.S.  Don’t forget to leave me a comment.  Let me know if you have a go at making a tag,  or,  if you have any questions at all,  please ask away!  I’m not one of those crafters who won’t share information.  I’m more than happy to help other folks with their craft projects.

 

The Ranger Melting Pot – my recommendation of the week.

The Melt Pot by Ranger is highly recommended by the Cobweborium Emporium, as a great addition to the craft room.

The Melt Pot by Ranger is highly recommended by the Cobweborium Emporium, as a great addition to the craft room.

 

I saw the Ranger Melt Pot demonstrated on Create & Craft early in 2013 and thought it was a lovely bit of kit – but the price, at the time, put me off buying it and so I put it on the  ‘I’d like one of these’  list.

A fellow crafter mentioned that a craft store near her had the Melting Pots on special offer just for that week as well as free postage and packing.   It was such an incredible deal that I ordered one straight away, along with some clear ultra thick embossing crystals, just to give me something to start with.

It arrived really quickly and although I unpacked it from the packing box I left it in its actual proper packing for weeks!

I think I was a little scared of it.  It seemed such a major product  . . . but  after weeks of uhmming and erring … I opened the package and decided NOW was the time to put on my big girl knickers and play with this magical machine.

From the moment that I made my very first bit of Ranger Melting Pot magic – I was well and truly   HOOKED.

“Hello, my name is Cobwebs and I’m a Melting Pot Addict.”

I thought that I’d developed some sort of  super power  which turned solid objects into a liquid.  You pour a some Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel into the pot, put the lid on and VOILA!  You take the lid off and where there was a solid matter there is now liquid magic.

I’d set myself up to make something simple … a tag or a topper.  Small enough to not really care about making a total pigs ear of it, but something that I could use if it turned out to be a joyous success.

I turned the melt pot on poured some crystals into deeper well part of the dish and put on the lid.  It takes just a minute or two for the UTEE to melt into a see through liquid, at which point I took the bit of chipboard card which I’d already prepared.  It was about the size of a business card –  to which I’d added a chipboard bird shape with a little double-sided tape and  ‘stroked’ a little teal coloured gilding wax (from Creative Expressions)  around the edges of the bird and the card,  as a sort of highlight.

I then held the chipboard tag in my tweezers and carefully, gently placed/dropped it face down into the melted crystals in the melt pot.  I left it there for just a moment, then carefully lifted it out and let it drip for a few seconds, before laying it flat  (on it’s back) on my heat-resistant mat.

I gazed at what I’d made and couldn’t believe how something so mundane as two bits of chipboard card had taken on a look of something really rather ‘arty’ and expensive.

I had a little test tube of tiny glass beads on my desk, and I opened them and added a few glass beads to the still wet liquid.  Wow! this was really turning out to be something quite lovely.

I waited until the tag had cooled and ‘set’, then picked it up, snapped off the dribbly bits around the sides and dragged the sides of the tag over the lipped edge of the hot walls of the melt pot pan – to smooth out the edges and make a clean-looking finish,  and  then dropped the tag,  again, face down, into the pan again and gently pushed the back of the tag with my metal tweezers to ensure that the whole of the face of the tag was in contact with the UTEE melted crystals.

I picked up the tag with my tweezers and again allowed it to drip a little, then put the tag down on the heat mat to set.  ……………… I looked at it and ….  I was  well  and  truly  HOOKED.

The Melting Pot became a passion.  I dipped things, poured the liquid on my heat-resistant mat and pressed rubber stamps (only use red RUBBER stamps – as most other stamps can’t be used) into the poured liquid.  I used metal cookie cutters which I’d so far only used for polymer clay, and pressed the cutters into the poured hot liquid in order to cut shapes.    I used  glass beads; little wooden flat backed adornments;  old, rusty looking metal sayings (such as: believe;  TRUE LOVE;  beautiful soul;  wish  … that type of thing) and everything suddenly took on a much more magical, amazing appearance.  I coated paper flowers which I’d cut out using some Sizzix dies and they became something delicate, but so much more amazing than just paper flowers.  I dipped leaves off silk flowers.  I dipped a  short length of cotton into the clear crystals and then carefully draped it over a Tag which I’d made, to add some more texture and depth.

The limit to what you can create with the Melting Pot is only the limit which your creative mind puts on it.

BUT … that’s not all….

You can colour the clear melted crystals – either with solid colours:  black, white, blues, purples, pinks, greens,  silver, gold, bronze …. by using ultra thick embossing crystals (I use Cosmic Shimmer brand).

You can add Melt Art Heat It Inks  or (my own choice of liquid colourants) Cosmic Shimmer Melt Inks – either of these inks are safe to use in your Melt Pot inks.   They’re especially made so that you can add these inks directly into your Melting Pot.  Any other inks ..well I honestly wouldn’t know if they were safe to use,  but I personally wouldn’t try them unless I’d checked with Ranger themselves first.

Inks + Melted UTEE + HOT Melting Pot =  a  possible dangerous happening.  So don’t take chances.

Either of these mentioned inks will add colour, but leave your project translucent  –  so you’ll be able to ‘see’ through it, like you could see through a coloured piece of glass.  But … if you add white UTEE to the blend then the colour changes to an opaque colour.

You can add ‘pearl’ ultra thick embossing crystals, which gives the translucent colours a special finish which looks like someone waved a magic wand over the project and the magic twinkles which came out of the end of their wand got stuck in the liquid and are held there forever more.

What other things can you make? 

Rings …  you can use silicone moulds to make flowers, roses work well.  The liquid cools quickly – in minutes and you can then simply glue the flower to a ring base (which you can buy on Ebay or from various places which sell jewellery making items.)

Pendants … using moulds, or even simply pouring the UTEE out onto your craft sheet and pressing a metal cookie cutter into the hot liquid then leaving it there until it’s cooled a little (remember to poke a hole by pushing in a bamboo stick and holding it there  – then once everything has cooled a little you can (while it’s just still warm) peel away the outer setting UTEE and push out the inner UTEE shape which you’ve made.

Or – you can use a bezel and make pendants like this one which I posted about in the Melt Pot category of my blog.

Armour of God Pendant 2

 

Adornments for your cards – again using Silicone moulds or fashioning things from paper, card, metal, wire or all manner of things – like these flowers simply made from shaped wire and dipped into the melt pot,

Ranger Melt Pot Flowers

Or … how about some Christmas decorations … maybe some snowflakes …  can you imagine the beautiful snowflakes you could make to hang off your tree using a mould like this one ….

Snowflake Silic.Mld

…..  although – these would look fabulous as card adornments – and the recipient would have a gift from you at the same time … a snowflake for their tree!  What a great card for a neighbour or for teacher at school!

BUT .. the fun doesn’t stop there with the Ranger Melting Pot … 

If you buy a project pan you can melt beeswax in your Melt Pot.  You must buy this project pan though – as the melt pot without the project pan gets too hot for beeswax – the addition of the project pan cools the temperature down to just the right amount for beeswax.

You could use the beeswax to make art from (for example) napkins.  Either make a canvas from a pretty napkin (single ply only – so separate the picture from the rest of the napkin, otherwise the napkin layers begin to bubble).  Or … you could decorate a candle and personalise it.

You can also use the Melt Pot to cure Fimo!

 

There is so much that you can do with this fabulous machine and I’ve only touched the surface of its talents.

I whole heartedly recommend this crafting tool.  But remember – just like you might have a microwave in your kitchen, or perhaps a potato masher maybe – you don’t use those tools every single day, so don’t expect to use your melt pot every day.  You’re a crafter, and that means that you’ll use various things, papers, cards, tools and your melt pot, as and when you need them/it.  And that’s ok to do that.  You might not use your heat gun every day, but you bought it!  You might not use your die cutting machine every day, but you have one and wouldn’t be without it.  It’s the same thing.

Finally ... I just want to add that I haven’t been paid to make this recommendation.  Nor have I been given any products or items;  no machine (I bought my own);  no UTEE crystals;  no moulds, or anything.  Nothing what-so-ever. 

My recommendation has been made purely on my own experience of my own Ranger Melting Pot … or  magic Cauldron (as I affectionately call it).

 

If you buy one .. then don’t sit and look at it for weeks, waiting to build up the courage to use it.  Get it out of the packaging, read the leaflet and then make something.  Just make something small.  Nothing that is going to stress you out, and nothing that you’ll expect anything big from.  Just make a tag or a card topper, or maybe a paper flower.  Make something.  Get used to it.  But most of all …. USE IT.  You’ll love it.  OH… and the best bit?  If you make something you don’t like, you can re-melt it and start again.

Fits my motto perfectly

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried. 

Hey … it works for me!

Thanks for being here and for reading . . .

Cobs siggy sml