How could it be?!? The end of July is here already. Kind of sad in a way, but...the summer is really NOT over yet. So let's just NOT go there for now. I was SO excited to see Tim's idea of the July Tag turn out to be the same I wanted to do: ocean-minded! And since we ended up spending quite a bit of time near -or on- the ocean, it was perfect. I was totally happy to get home from our 30th Anniversary cruise (taken with four other couples close to us) to find the "Sand and Sea" Alterations Die got here safely in the mail while we were away. :D I'd looked forward to finding that in stock since it was shown at CHA in January! So, of course, in making my tag; I kept pretty close to the same techniques Tim used....PRETTY close.
One of the things I did differently, was to use REAL items on my tag- a few seashells, dried coral sponge, and sand- brought back into the US from the Bahamas. I'd spent a few hours combing the shallower waters for the tiny seashells to put into IdeaOlogy Glass Vials (the same of which we saw, filled with sand and a tiny shell or two, for sale on many tables through the towns while shopping). And in the deeper water to find larger shells for the tags. I knew I'd be making more than one- for giving to each of my Besties who were able to make the trip with us this time. I sifted the sand first, getting it smoother to work with, then mixed it with some white emboss powder, white distress glitter, and Glossy Accents. It stayed very well- and hardened FAST. Knowing GA dries quickly, I worked one tag at a time on the sand mixture. Then I took a big pinch of just sand and sprinkled it on top- just for the look of crusty sand. I also used the dry mixture on top of the paint on the sand dollar and the starfish. The white embossing powder gave it a touch of brightness.
And I also really like making detailed items on my tags, so I went further to make it look more realistic and colorful by using some bright Copper Distress Paint, Olive, Sage, & Vintage Photo Distress Inks on grungepaper cut from the Movers&Shapers Leaf and Branch die, and the leafy wreath of the Alterations Die "Regal Crest" into copper sea coral and green sea weed. I cut a long coil of hemp cord, stained it with the greens and Vint Photo Distress Inks, then cut it into smaller pieces for the floating 'strands' you can clearly see through the water while we parasailed, jetskied, boated, and swam.
There'll be a post soon on a few of our trips that I have yet to go through photos with- it's good to finally be back at HOME, again. We've been gone longer than two months this year....so far. (My hearing pup looked at me like "Who the heck are YOU???" when the ChiefHubby got her in the door from the Doggy Hotel this last time.) But, you KNOW I just HADDA use a couple of good group pics on the tag since they were designed to be shared. And everyone not only went along with the idea of group photos, but we had matching shirts I made up for them to wear for the first pic...and on the boat- WOW!: tons of pro photographers with lots of setups and backgrounds for each night. We had a BLAST with it!!! The ChiefHubby GENEROUSLY shelled out quite a bit for some FABULOUS PHOTOS of us alone together- and as a group. You've probably seen a few of them already floating around on my Twitter and both of our FB pages, as well as the rest of the couple's pics alone. I used two of my faves of us as a group and used the Movers&Shapers die "Family" with an Americana background paper tucked behind it.
One thing I did do that Tim didn't; I wanted a bit of ocean foam at the top (something we saw alot of throughout the cruise). So I used some China Blue Distress Paint on my craft sheet, and scraped the top of BOTH sides of the tag (*I was not only using the plastic top part, but I like to make a 'backside' of all my tags and that meant TEN tags to do to form five July Tags as gifts.) back and forth through it, coating it in a VERY UNperfect lumpy form. Then dipped that lumpy form of paint into some white embossing powder....VIOLA! A foaming wave at the top of each tag.
The plastic was an interesting bit of creativity. No time for a trip to the store and no "bubbles" embossing folder. What to do?? Oh well. I'll just make my own thing. So I used a Sizzix die cutter of circles from any old cardboard leftovers, glued them randomly on a tag-sized cardboard piece, then ran each plastic tag-die-cut through my BigShot just like it was any other embossing folder. It didn't do as NICE a job....but it WORKED! I saved that little cardboard for some odd future use as a background with some kind of medium coating....after I find the new "Bubbles" folder set Tim has out. :D
So here they all are on my studio table- packaged up, appropriately tagged with some Americana hemp and tiny tags (some of the tags I make yearly and shown in a previous post), and ready to give out as gifts. They took me a week to do- a little each day- so I am a BIT later than I wanted to be in getting this out and up on Tim's Blog. But there's nothing like a DEADLINE to make you bust yer buns. :D
THANKS for checking in again, and I hope to make some time to get into alot of the Blogs I've missed out on looking through while gone. Just because I don't leave a note, though, doesn't mean I wasn't THERE and SAW IT. I am AMAZED at all the FANTASTIC TALENT out there in BlogLand!!!