Time to share with you my project for the mid-month reminder over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges. This month we thought something quick like a tag might be a great opportunity to get back into the crafting saddle after the summer break - so show us your TAGS - either steampunk, industrial or vintage ones!
Do tags or not do tags - that is my question at the moment.
When I began discovering crafty blogland three years ago with all the fantastic rubber stamp collections and other crafty goodness out there, I started with ATCs and quickly moved on to tags as they offered a slightly larger format - which was perfect for trying out all those techniques that were new and fascinating to me. And then - after some time and practice - that somehow didn't do the job for me anymore...mixed media used on altered art, canvasses, in journals, on paintboard...they suddenly seemed to make more "sense". It was as if I felt that tags weren't good enough anymore...if you know what I mean.
But after a long break from doing tags I just found that they are perfect for starting over after a long mojo-less period. They don't put that pressure on you that canvasses or art journals do. You just play around - and if you like the result you can still use whatever you have tried and discovered on your tag for a larger project if you like. And if you don't, you still did some "art-y exercising". Right?
Erm....what was this post originally about?....well, the steampunk challenge over at SASPC...yesssss.
I recently bought some awesome stamps from Carabelle Studio and wanted to use one of them on my tag for our challenge. They offer some fantastic steampunk designs and instead of just using rubber stamping for adding texture and depth to my project I wanted to make the stamped image the focal point this time. As I am not the colouring type of crafter I mainly use stamping as an addition. Not this time!
First I remembered one of my favourite Tim Holtz background techniques using Distress Inks, water and the heat gun - and really enjoyed doing it again! I used rusty hinge, walnut stain and peeled paint alongside a solution made from Walnut Ink Crystals (from Tsukineko). These are crystals you mix with hot water to get a lovely brown you can use for dyeing fabric or paper...or shading around stamped images and adding splashes with a soft brush (like I did).
Painting the walnut ink solution around my image still let the other stains and colours show through and helped highlight the stamped area.
I also wanted to use some of the blisters I have been hoarding for ages...you know: those transparent plastic packages all the yummy embellishments come in. I thought I could use them as capsules for some watch parts that would move when moving the tag around.
As there were many circles (from the gears on the stamped image) I decided to make them the main shape on my tag and added some other circular elements: brads and Tim Holtz enforcement ring stickers. I shaded them in with a black watersoluble pencil and a fine tip brush loaded with water.
I felt that my tag lacked some "metal bling", so I painted some circles around some of my elements with DecoArt media Metallic Gold acrylic paint. For a finishing touch I also added some detail with a white Sharpie and a white watersoluble pencil.
I really enjoyed playing around with the blister "capsule" and my paints, pens and inks!
The face of the steampunk gentleman was painted over with DecoArt media Translucent White and then shaded with a brown pencil.
I hope that some of the fun I had has become visible on the tag too!
I would like to thank you for stopping by and also invite you to hop over to SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges to check out the beautiful tags of my team mates! And maybe I will soon see your lovely tags entered to our challenge! Yay! I always love to see how others approach the same challenge - and it always provides me with a lot of awesome inspiration for my own work! So thanks to all for playing along and sharing their wonderful art!
Hugs and happy crafting,