Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Sunday, August 21, 2016

AUGUST TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016...Smooth Sailing & Safe Travels.

   I hope this EARLY posting doesn't cause any massive coronaries to any innocent readers: I'm surprising even myself being this early! I actually get my Tags done by mid-month, but it's a tossup between procrastination and being busy that keeps me from getting it posted. In fact, I find it hard to get to sleep on the night before Tim posts the new month's Tag. After viewing his new post, the ideas roll over so fast in my head that I am usually gathering together all I need and putting it into one pile on my desk right away. It's not hard for me to picture the end result in my head, so geting it onto the craftsheet from there, is pretty easy for me.

 Unless, of course, it's one of those techniques that I have to keep trying over and over to get it anywhere near Tim's look. This month's Tag took me off guard. There were two things Tim stayed away from that he's done in the past 1tag/month years; both Patriotic or beach/water for July and August. So I was surprised to see a more muted tone for this Remix. Not that I didn't like it...I LOVED IT! But, this summer has been bittersweet for me. After a long winter watching my Dad literally melt away from cancer, it's given me somewhat a more heightened sense of LIFE. I've always tried not to take anything for granted because I know we are BLESSED to be alive in this day. The age of media technology to share talents and friendship in a way that I'd never  have been able to do since I am deaf. Plus all the medicines and helps that are available to me in this age. I think we need to go further in helping the rest of everyone in the world to have access to it all. But that is a great arguement for another day. Right now, I'll get down to the how and then the why for my August Tag...
I knew I would be trying to incorporate two shapes into my Tag: 1- a sailboat, and 2- my new TH Alterations Thinlets Die Set; Gearhead. I hadn't had a good chance up til this to play with the Gearhead and it is really awesome! Now, the sailboat was a toughie. I looked at all my ocean craft items and came up empty. I've got both sets of the TH Sand&Sea, palm trees, lighthouses, etc...but no sailboat. Ok, fine. I got online and Googled "Sailboat" hoping to find one in the simple leaning (elegant) shape I wanted & I got lucky with several of the same shape turning up in quite as few of the pictures. I was able to change it to just a black/white scheme and save it to print out the size I wanted to fit to the Tag background. So there ya go, Tim and Mario: make up a simple sailboat to go with the new Beach/Sea items you have out this year (which I added to my WANT LIST)!
The first time we did this technique, I wasn't very great at it. That's what I love most about this Remix; we get a chance to purposefully practice these techs all over again. I think I had more fun (AND did BETTER) this time around. You'll notice there are four sides. I made TWO TAGS; both having a front and back.

Adding the shading was not just fun, but actually let me 'set up' the background for my sailboat.

I went a little giddy with these. I just FINALLY found this TH Frameworks Die earlier this summer in a bargain! So noone had to urge me twice to have some fun with it. I chose lots of muted tones in different textures; burlap, cork, Tim-PaperStash, even some of Tim's yesteryear Kraft Glassine. The muted textures were the type you would find on a sailing vessel.
Sewing was more fun this time around....esp the sailboat - shown below in closeups...

I LOVED the way the new design of gears from the Gearhead Die Set allow you to stack as many as you want but still stay closer to the base layer of your Tag- lighter weight, too. There are alot more pullys, gears, and blocks/tackle on a boat than most people think. Instead of stitching on the Tag's background, I chose to stitch on the sail itself. This pic shows the JibSail.  It's where you would actually find stitching on a sailboat, and I went a bit further...

... I stitched an upper case "L" on my pennant topsail! I also added a smallest IdeaOlogy Spinner- as there would normally be a similar pointer up on top to help you steer into the wind. Of course, I needed a compass ornament on my Tag.

A neat find in my stash was an anchor charm I had leftover from another project made for the OlderSon's USNavy Fiance'. I decided to put it to good use here- complete with a slipknot and another squareknot from the paperstring with Hitches holding my Word Band.

The BACKSIDE of my August Entry Tag (I only enter the main front and the rest is just up for grabs/gabs/&entertainment! The back also has similarly done technique, but this time I chose to use all Gearhead topper and used Glossy Accents to adhere it plus some Long Fasteners just for looks. The Compass Coin w Spinner & another Long Fastener completed the look. I did add a few random stitches, too.

Finished FRONTSIDES August Tag entry (left) and gift for OlderSon& Fiance' for use in memory of their trip to London, England this past week. (They got into O'Hare Intl, Chicago late and missed their IND flight. Next flight out was not till late Sunday, so this will be posted before they even get back home.)
Note: I coated the sailboat with Multi Medium Matte for a little strength since it was going to be stitched.

Finished BACKSIDES to both Tags... You can see more of the 2nd Tag in closeups below...

This saying was PERFECT! The color, the stitching, and all the little things just made this Tag way too fun for me!

I'd ordered from The Funkie Junkie Boutique for another set of  dies and got another TH Crinkle Ribbon already done in the perfect Red, White, & Blue as an 'extra' they always send out with their awesome packaging! The little trinkets were part of my order and you can see the compass matches the one on my own Tag. These trinkets were great looking next to the TH paper of Great Britain's Flag inset on the top hexagon.

Again- use of the Gearhead since gears are also used in planes... I only set the Eiffel Tower piece on top, but didn't adhere it. I didin't know if they'd get any chance to make a quick run through the Chunnel to France or not. So it will be a JIC piece.

Of course, I had to use Tim's paper here, as well as the smaller Crown from the IdeaOlogy. I laced it all up in tiny red & blue gems with fake diamond gems. I took a tiny key I had in my stach and broke off the bottom (the part that goes into the lock itself) and using some of the same gems. The end result became "the Queens Crown Jewels". A cute touch, or so I think, that can offset a small photograph - if they choose to add one in the space I made here.

Here's the Older Son, Brian, and his USNavyGirl Fiance', Ashley- they're doing a selfie for me at a site I requested they visit... & if you're having trouble guessing where this was taken at; look closely into the far background on the streetwalk and think THE BEATLES! (PS: THANKS, my babies! We're so happy you got to see such a beautiful country!) While Ahsley spent 3 years of military service in Japan, this was Brian's first trip abroad. Our entire family of 6 is seeing some amazing places this year and we are very thankful!!

And now the reason why I did a sailboat...I've been brushing back up on my boating knowlefge since we used to have a couple of our own motorboats (Bayliner open bow & then a larger deckboat, and currently have an old pontoon) since the ChiefHubby grew up with his Parents and Grandparents- as well as most of his extended family-owning boats. One of our first dates was spent at his Grandparents' Lake Shafer Isle home to teach me water skiing. I fell in love with it and really miss the sport! Lately, I've  longed for a shortboard to take up surfing from plain boogie hardboarding, but he is afraid I'd go too far out alone (aka: without him) since noone else shares my "sense of adventure". Ditto with the smaller 1&2 person sailboat I had my eye on for the past 2 years. Party pooper! So instead, he looked for something he can go with me on and we ended up with a Lifetime 3person Manta Kayak. It's usable on all waters- even the ocean- within reasonable limits.
Here we are- during the first Wabash River excursion just for practice. We've done kayaking before a few times both long ago and recently, but never on the Wabash. Shown in the background is Georgetown Bridge in western Cass County, IN.
The first weekend of August, we took the kayak up to Red Wing, MN,to visit with the Ygr Purdue cpl kids. They'd gone out and got their own kayaks before we ordered ours! So we packed them up and took a trip out on Lake Byllsby near Cannon Falls,MN. It was during the weekend of the Red Wing River City Days Festival, and the live music was pretty cool that Friday Night. The kayaking trip was on Sunday afternoon, after the Chief and I attended worship at our usual place there: Cornerstone Christian Church, located right in the downtown store fronts.

My surprise at finding out that the particular 3Person Manta Kayak we have now... also can be fitted with a SAIL!!!
And BLESS my ChiefHubby's BIG WONDERFUL HEART: the sail has just been shipped as of last night!!!
Guess it does help to keep dreaming- who knows how it will turn out?!?
              Thanks for checking in and I hope you will join in on the 12 Tags of 2016 with us if you haven't yet! There are still  FOUR more Tags for the year with TWICE that many techniques to (re)try your hand at. For those of you I see who've checked in to see my blog posts continually- THANK YOU!!! I may not leave comments or proof that I have been to everyone else's sites, but I try hard to get a peek as much as I can because there are so many AWESOME talented folks out there! I've probably seen most of them on Pinterest and have tons pinned under my "12 Tags" board.
               I sincerely hope everyone has a smooth transition from the summer months to the school months- it's crazy how EARLY school starts now and feels like such a short summer life for kids. Makes me want to stay out in my pool 24/7 right now. But, alas; those fall months will bring more craft time. ;)
                                                                      Till next time....
                                Be Safe and HAPPY BLOGGING!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

JULY TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016... Part 1

We started off from Indiana on June 29th, threaded our way through Illinois, Wisconsin, and turned west once we hit Minneapolis, Minnesota. We drove all through North Dakota, where the land began to look different to us than we have been used to traveling through the eastern half of the USA. The weather couldn't have been better! We actually were the SECOND of our own family to hit the Northwest, as our younger set of kids (Brett and Holli) had taken their first real getaway vacation since they moved up to Red Wing. They wanted to see Yellowstone Park, and had a chance to hit Mount Rushmore, as well as the corner of Montana where we made a plan to stop after seeing their photos. (They learned early from Momma to record their journey on camera. And they did a great job.... didn't you, HOLLI?? hehe)
Each time we rounded a corner or topped a hill; the scenery changed and all of it really "WOW"d us! The sky seemed to get larger, the further west we got. But the going was not ALL so smooth; at one point after we stopped in Bismark for the night, we were shocked to find the highway we were on came to an abrupt STOP. Not just a stop sign, but NO HIGHWAY at ALL! We were motioned to follow a pilot car who led us through crusted, truck-packed-down plain old DIRT for about 5 miles. A bit after that fiasco, we found our gas tank in our 50mpg Prius to be nearly empty. We just happened to finally find a gas station in a town that popped up out of nowhere. And finally we also saw a McDonald's ! (I was beginning to wonder if there were ANY kind of fast food restaurants at all, there for a bit...) 
The Badlands of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevlet National Park...

Since Brett and Holli brought back a Buffalo named Billy, Dad and Mom brought home a Buffalo Colt (I say it's called a CALF) and named it Buffawo Bilwy.
But NOTHING prepares you for the AWESOME, breath-taking views of Glacier National Park!!! Seems like once we hit Montana itself; the sky just went on forever. I guessed a person could see the weather coming at least two days ahead. But once we hit those mountains... Mike Stoker posted a pic of the mountains from his deck (yes, THE Mike Stoker of "EMERGENCY!" who was not only a SAG-card carrying Engineer of Engine  51 "Big Red" for the show, but he was a real FF for LAcoFD and retired as a Captain)and he was right- it sure is a beautiful sight to behold!               


This was the first visit to Logan's Pass....before we did the entire hike up the mountain. We got just partway up and decided to come back the next day- dressed warmer! The temps were 80+ at the bottom of the Going To The Sun Road, and a ch-ch-chilly 58 at the top that day. The next day was colder- but the view at the top of the climb was AWE$OME!!! (The R,W&B pic directly above this) At the top is a view of Hidden Lake. And the third day we were there- they closed all of this as a Bear Momma and her Cub were there. We got awfully CLOSE to the goats up there and everyone is told to TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. Esp the Momma Goat with the KID!!! We gpt several nice, a little TOO closeup shots of all the wildlife. Thankfully, NO BEARS. We learned our lesson at the campgound. DEFINITELY: we were NOT camping in INDIANA, Toto!!! Always carry your Bear Spray, and do not feed the bears. Or else...the Ranger isn't gonna like this, Yogi! Filtching picnic baskets is frowned upon. So is leaving your camp stove out on the table next to the cooler full of just ice and unopened Diet Pepsi bottles. Rangers do not like that. Let me ASSURE YOU.

This is the Continental Divide behind David. Everyone else we were with had come up from Florida (I post a lot of photos of Florida trips but not of our fam there. That lets them keep control of their pics. Those guys are my HEART!!!) The day they closed Logan Pass due to the bears, the rest of our group hiked this Divide behind us. NUTS!!! But they LOVED it. Yeah... I know... they're from FLORIDA and don't really know the BAD LIFE OF SNOW !!! The side that DID live up here in Indiana must totally NOT remember those days.(That's how we got to know them in the first place & it was a REAL modern-day, honest-to-GOD MIRACLE) Our nights were COLD enough without tracking through the snow each day. I was fine with just ONE day hiking through that  chilly white junk.

Second Day on Going To The Sun Road- stopping at Logan's Pass to make the entire climb. The first level you see a lake looking like it's on the edge of the mountian....with wild goats and marmots everywhere. The wildlife comes FIRST- as it SHOULD!!!
The Chief was glad to have me around finally. My always-chattering voice kept the bears at bay.
CRYSTAL CLEAR!!! And VERY COLD !!! But I still wanted to plunge into a falls at our 2 Medicine campground. The only thing that stopped me: an RA flareup going on the day I planned to do it. That- and the bad weather that was causing it to plunge into the 40s. Pretty normal for up there, but not for this WARM SUMMER GIRL!!!
I spent the first week home with severe RA knee pain. Is it possible to get 'the bends' from higher altitude??

My favorite of all- had to be the Native American Indian life and culture. What a BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!! They were warmly welcoming, and gladly shared their heritage with us in lessons of the Great Spirit and the power of life that the animals held. The Blackfeet Nation have a land that is too beautiful to describe it in words. And they have a wisdom - as do all the NAI Tribes- that the White Man would be smart to learn from.

One man-made thing I have wanted to see for ages: those four dudes behind the ChiefHubby and I. Meet my friends;George, Tom, Teddy, and Abe! Our relationship started out a little 'rocky', but smoothed out as we chatted a bit about the things going on in Washington D.C. these days. I think the four of them totally understood.

I set out all the goodies I came home with, minus THE HAT. The Chief had been wanting to find THE perfect hat for ages. Like he doesn't have two tons of them NOW?? (But any Fire Wife knows Firemen collect certian things:flashlights, pens, keychains pertaining to firefighting, and hats.)
Personally, I love postcards! I always get double sets of them and always choose only two or three and usually in a vintage theme. Imagine my surprise when I found all the same vintage postcards that I used on my JUNE Tag!
So, of course, as soon as I got finished with my JULY TAG, I started playing with a couple of the postcards and some Tim Holtz CORRESPONDENCE set of papers, tapes, and my Alterations M&S Matchbox Die.
Read on...

I have a USA/Flag/patriotic Syaing roller stamp I love to use on those tags I make for the outside of gifts. I used some Antique Linene Distress Paint to roll the stamp onto the cut box covers and left the drawers plain. I then used Red, White, and Blue embossing powder - shaking most of the powder off before heat drying. The result gave me three kinds of feel on the box covers: paint only, Embossed, and plain box. 

 I like to make my 'windows' so that nothing will fall out of it. I never know what all I end up putting into them. At this point, I double-sided just a tiny section of a strip of clear packing tape, and I have a window that won't stick to anything else.

A bit of similar shades of Distress Inks around the edges of the covers and the star-windows gave me the look I wanted.

The backside of the TAG whish I ended up putting the boxes onto, had enough room for a large photo of us from our trip. One of the many selfies we took among the 21GB of photo stills and videoI came home with. Of all the souvinirs....
PHOTOS are my FAVE things to bring home, and THEN postcards. :)

Here is the final frontside of the MatchBox Tag.
Keep going, and you'll see what's inside soon!

The photo has some of the matching Correspondence tape and I added some of the same Remnant Rubs- #84 stands for the year we got married- July 14, 1984. We've been seeing the world TOGETHER since then, and took our kids with us up till  not too long ago.

The inside ended up being perfect for stashing MINIS I MADE OF THE POSTCARDS!!!
This was so CUTE and so FUN!!!

This pic and the next show the dates I stamped on the top for the first part of the two week trip and the bottom has the second part of the trip.

I added one of the stars from the matchbox covers with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink around it for shading.

You can see the textuyre come out. I put some more of the tape over the front- just like any other package coming in the post would look.

The dates on the drawers were the dates the postcards were purchased.

Of course, there is much more to the story of this trip, and there are 14 more people who joined us for it. Each of them has their own favorite parts of the vacation, and every person had at least their phone for taking pictures. I imagine we will have quite a bit to share when we see each other again. We actually didn't have as much time together as we hoped since none of us took into account how HUGE the state of Montana really is and the amount of time you end up DRIVING to get ANYPLACE. Plus, the cows, buffalo, goats, and tons of other critters blocking the road and chewing at your car like "Dude, I don't care for blue. Get outta my road, I'm busy CHEWING."
I know I learned a very important lesson that I already knew. I just really never fully understood until the moment I turned around and stood up to see a mountain up above me that truly fit the description "Crown of the Continent": these wondrous, beautiful-beyond-description places could NOT have just 'happened' on their own. Each mountain is intricately chisled in impossible shapes.
Only a Creator GOD could have done that.
Thanks for sharing this part of the JULY TAG post with me! I hope it helps you understand why my Tag says "the beatiful USA". And I also hope it gives you the desire to get out and see some of this awesome land! If it hasn't been possible for you, yet, then perhaps this will give you HOPE that you can hang on to. Afterall, we ALL can dream big; that's exactly how a lot of these places came to be. Someone at some point had a dream that "EVERYONE should see this!"
Till next time...
                                               BE SAFE, and HAPPY BLOGGING!

                        Click here to see JULY TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016...Part 2

JULY TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016... Part 2

Click here to see JULY TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016...Part 1     If you're reading this in August, it's not because YOU are late. The Queen of Procrastination strikes again! Cutting it a bit too close this time. Tim's July Tag has a few of my fave components: my fave month of July, travel & summer! The only letdown comes from the fact that July is over tonight. So let's get to this last half of my 2-parter...
Since I am REALLY down to the wire... this half of the posting is going up first, then the 1st half -last. We got back from our Montana Trip and ordered a Kayak. The younger Son cpl kids went out and got a set of them without knowing Mom and Dad were planning on getting a doubler Kayak. We just got back home from our first big run (7 miles down the Wabash) and barely made it back in time for me to get this typed up! So here goes:

I just happened to havea Mount Rushmore stamp !!! Who knew?!

I got smart and PRACTICED this time FIRST on scrap.

The inks ALL came out in my usual creative chaos.

Just adding a cutout word wasn't enough for ME. Noooooo....just get the whole stash out and find what I wanted in the first two bins I looked AFTER going through ALL of them !

TAG BACKSIDE: the TH States Thinlet had to be used here- to show the States we added to our Bucket List (for at least a short visit this time).

I got out the machine for this one. I stayed really close to Tim's techniques this month. I actually got it all done by the 25th! WOW- cause we didn't get back to Indiana until the 9th, and still had places to go once we got back home... but not quite HOME just yet.

I printed out some of the fave pics for the inside pocket idea that came to me. The pocket would be BETWEEN the front and back sides of the Tag...

... for the pocket- I used one of Tim's old items: Craft Glassine Pocket. Haven't seen those out in use for a while! So I decided it would work for this.

I used my date stamp to add the real dates to each 'File Card'.

The ribbon came along with an order I made from The Funkie Junkie Boutique- owner Linda Ledbetter is SUPER!! She keeps as much Tim stuff in stock as she can, and I got my hands on BOTH the Gears#2  Bigz Die AND the new Gearset thinlets!!! Can't wait to have time to play with them! I thought the ribbon Linda sent out in my July order was PERFECT for this. THANKS, LINDA!!!

Instead of cutout words... I got out the Chipboard Letters!! I LOVE THIS!!!

I DID do the double-layer cutout on the backside... and used a heart instead of just a dot on top of the J. :)

The entire backside.

The FRONT of the File Cards shown with the BACKSIDE of the Tag.

Add captionThe FRONTSIDE of the Tag shown with the BACKSIDES of the File Cards.

I made a second tag as well, but it is totally flat. It is for the Younger Couple set of kids to use as a bookmark since they made the very same trip from their home up in Red Wing, MN, just before WE did! They got all the way back to Red Wing and then drove all the way down to Indiana a day early to see us before we took off. They were down here to see her new niece and nephew from Canada. The older Couple set of kids take off for LONDON, ENGLAND in 2 weeks. We sure are getting around!

The flat side of the bookmark.
THANKS for looking in !!! I catch you up on the next post - the Part 1 of this!!