We rent a lodge in NE Kansas which is near the home place and has 5 bedrooms and each year we take turns hosting. This year, my husband and I are the hosts. On Saturday evening, all of Eddie & Agnes' children and their spouses gather for dinner, catching up and having a spirited Chinese Gift Exchange with a twist for this year. I detest the White Elephant Gift Exchanges we have done in the past so I made sure that we were doing something more fun than taking home something you didn't want in the first place. Each couple usually brings a bottle of wine since we're in the lodge and not driving anywhere for the entire night. This year, each person was asked to bring their favorite bottle of wine or wine accessories for the exchange. We will be having a three steal limit. The 4th person owns it and it cannot be stolen again. We have a lot of thieves in the family when it comes to the Chinese Gift Exchange.
Since I started making cards this year, I wanted to make sets of note cards for each of my sisters-in-law. I don't think any of them read my blog but even if they did, it would be hard not to figure out what I've been up to. Therefore, no pictures of the actual packages will be posted on here. I started that project in July by asking what their favorite color combination is. I've had most of them done for several months, but I really agonized over my choice for the other Vickie Finger. I guess because she loves my cards and has received several by now to send so I didn't want anything that looked too similar to something I have already made her. In the end I made two sets with her in mind and I went with my first instinct so I have another set to give as a gift.
So last night I sat down to make some Gift Tags. I have some cellophane bags that came from Simon Says Stamp to put the cards into but they still needed a tag. I have some watercolor paper that I bought in a pad of 4x6 sheets that works great for watercolor, but not so good with adhesive. It is very fibrous on the back side and is not tightly pressed back there so for whatever reason it is difficult to adhere. The paper usually pulls away with the tape. So I cut up the last sheets of that for my tags. I wanted to do some ink blending and this watercolor paper is perfect for that. I also wanted to do some heat embossing after the ink blending, so I had to be careful to use my anti static powder pouch before inking up my images in Versamark. It took a while to do this because I like to Ink Blend and then put some shimmer spray on top of that to soften the color even more which meant speeding up the drying time with my heat tool. The spray I used for these is Dazzling Diamonds from Tattered Angels. I wanted something different than my usual favorite, Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spray. After I sprayed the tags, the ink blended even more for the soft color you see here.
Next I needed to stamp my images that I wanted to heat emboss. I will say that I probably would never buy another cling mount stamp from Stampin' Up due to the fact that they do not stick to my acrylic blocks. They fall off unless I glue them on with Tombo Mono Multi. And I clean my blocks with rubbing alcohol so that there are no traces of oils. I clean the cling part with alcohol also, but it doesn't help. The stamps I used actually came out of two different stamp sets, but they worked fantastic together. The branch is from Watercolor Winter and the little square "A Gift For You" came from Beautiful Season. The tag came from the WPLUS9 Love Shower Designer Dies set and is 3 x 4.25 inches. I have another die that can create a reinforcement for the hole, but I didn't need it with the thickness of the watercolor paper. I carefully stamped each tag with the branch first and then the "gift for you" greeting 2nd. I just did one tag at a time since it was only two times of stamping. Then I sprinkled on Simon Says Stamp Ultra Fine Detail Gold Embossing Powder and heat set all 5 of them at the same time. I did watch carefully and brushed off any excess powder from the tags with a dry paintbrush (#4 Round) before I did this.
Once I had those heat set, I colored in the leaves with Tim Holtz Distress Marker in "Pine Needles" and the holly berries in Tim Holtz Distress Marker in Festive Berries. After that was dry, I used Christmas Red Stickles over the top of the berries. I probably could have skipped the Festive Berries Marker, but I knew my berries would look really red under the stickles and it only took seconds to do each one. I wanted each tag to be a different color. I used Maliblue, Hollyhock, Teeny Bikini, and Thistle all from Simon Says Stamp and Garden Green from Stampin Up. I think I might have to do another coat on the Teeny Bikini colored tag! But this will give you an idea of how the color looks. Since the shimmer sprays are water based it really blends and softens the color of the water based dye inks. I used some sheer white ribbon for the ties which will be taped to the package backs and hanging loosely over the front. I have actually made several sets of Gift Tags this year but these are the first ones I've gotten to use.
I hope you're getting all of your holiday shopping done and have a little "scrappy" time to yourself, too! I'll be entering these tags in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is "TAG IT"! For once, a project I was already working on fits the weekly Challenge --Woo Hoo! Thanks for stopping by today.