Friday, November 23, 2012

TE Baker's Dozen Studio Challenge - November

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It’s Black Friday, and it's also time for the Baker's Dozen Studio Challenge and a BIG Black Friday Sale at Taylored Expressions!

As a special surprise, we are releasing a new product today, Labels Stacklets 3 (which coordinates with the popular Frame It Up 1 Die). Also, it wouldn’t be Black Friday without a sale! Just enter coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2012 on your order at the TE Store Friday through Monday to save 10-30% off your entire order! The earlier you shop, the MORE you save! Details on the TE Store homepage.

The question for November is:

As crafters, we often talk about a hand-crafted Christmas. How much stamping do you do for the holidays?  Do you mail hand-stamped cards, make gift packaging, tags, handmade gifts?  Or do you stamp year-round, but not so much for Christmas?  Please show us some handmade tags and share a tip or two on how to keep stamping fun for the holidays.

I am a year-round stamper. I used to stress myself out every Christmas by trying to make enough cards to send out, but our Christmas list is quite large, and I just don't have enough time to make handmade cards for everyone anymore. My stamping style has also evolved over the years, too. Five years ago I was content to mass produce my Christmas cards, but I rarely do that anymore. I'm not a big fan of mass production, primarily because I get bored of making the same design over and over again. :) I do like to make handmade gifts for the numerous people who work with my daughter (teachers, therapists, para professionals, etc.), and this is pretty much a year-round thing for me. Today I have a set of 6 handmade Christmas tags to show you.

The base of my tag is the 2nd to the largest Labels Stacklets 3 which is cut out of Choice Snow White cardstock. To make a sturdier tag, I always double my base (this also helps to hide stitching on the back of the tag). I used a mix of patterned papers from the Doodlebug North Pole collection for the next layer. The PP layer uses the Frame it Up 1 Die (this layer creates a perfect 1/8" border).

Each tag has a layered tree which was created using the Trim the Tree Dies. The top layers were added to the base of the tree with foam tape. I also added a silver die cut star to the top of each tree. I stamped, colored and fussy cut each of the woodland creatures and added them to the tag with foam tape as well.

At the top of the tag, I added a silver eyelet, then added hand-dyed seam binding, Divine Twine, jingle bells and a Mini tag that reads Merry Christmas (from Many Minis - Holidays).

Detail shots:

Once I finished making the tags, I made a matching card with the scraps that I had accumulated. I used one of the smaller Labels Stacklets 3 as my main image panel.

Are you curious how I began my creative process? I first began by deciding which TE stamp set(s) that I wanted to use. I chose Woodland Winter, which was illustrated by Doug Applegate and part of his Apple Doodle Ink collection. I also used Many Mini - Holidays because I knew that I was going to add mini tags to my tags. :) I also had planned on using the new Label Stacklets 3 and the Frame it Up 1 Die as it is one of my favorite tag shapes. From there, I started pulling out various supplies:

Next, I decided how I wanted to design my tags by playing with my supplies and creating my first tag. On my first tag, I added stitching between the 2 different patterned papers, but in the end the stitching was covered up by the tree and woodland creature, so I didn't add stitching to the others.

I searched through my ribbon stash and decided that I wanted to use seam binding, so I dyed my own. This is a very simple process. I cut some seam binding and put it into a ziploc bag. Next, I start spraying mists into the bag, seal it, scrunch the ribbon to spread the colors and continue the process until I get the desired color. Even though it's November, it's still pretty dry here, so I took the ribbon out of the bag and let it air dry. You could also use a heat tool to speed up the drying process.

Finally, here's a photo of my card and all of the tags:

Please be sure to visit the rest of the Baker's Dozen to see their take on the studio challenge:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Supplies from the TE store:

Stamps: Woodland Winter, Many Minis - Holidays (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: North Pole (Doodlebug), Choice Snow White (Taylored Expressions), Silver Bling (Bazzill)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Taylored Dies: Labels Stacklets 3, Frame it Up 1, Trim the Tree, Mini Tags, Medium Scallop Border (Taylored Expressions), Markers (Copic), White seam binding, Mr. Huey's Mists: Mint Julep, Shine, Silver (Studio Calico), Divine Twine, Eyelets (WRMK), Jingle bells, Foam tape, Thread, Sewing machine.