12 tags of 2014 – september…


i believe art allows our creativity to escape understanding…

for me, that means sometimes encouraging myself to try new things, be open to different styles and techniques.  i also believe the only way to grow our creative thinking is to give ourselves that freedom to explore.  the 12 tags is my opportunity every month to challenge my normal day to day creative process so this month i decided to get out my alcohol inks and see what happened.  i absolutely love these inks and their versatility on so many different surfaces that result in amazing effects.  i just wanted to play by mixing various colors, metallic mixatives, and manipulating the inks with blending solution.  it’s times like these when we allow our creative thinking to embrace imperfection and often discover new techniques or different ways to use products, this was one of those times…

for those of you who have taken my creative chemistry classes (and i honestly encourage everyone who hasn’t to please do) you learn the importance of the properties of the products and how they can interact with one another.  in creative chemistry 102 as well as my recent compendium of curiosities vol.3 book, i share a technique called “faded layers” that combines alcohols inks, blending solution, and layering stencils to achieve a cool ghosted background on glossy cardstock.  well today, i’ve learned a completely new way to achieve this effect and i can’t wait to share it with you.  so you see, my creativity isn’t always about brown and grunge, sometimes we all need to dream in color…t!m

supplies: craft sheet, alcohol inks/assorted colors, metallic mixative/gold, blending solution, ink applicator tool, felt, mini ink blending tool, blending foam, archival ink/jet black, glossy accents, heat tool, #8 black tag, remnant rubs/botanical, crinkle ribbon, stamps/cms179/cms104, layering stencil/THS011, grid-blocks, decorative strip die/butterfly frenzy, vagabond machine


step 1: begin with a piece of alcohol ink cardstock (or glossy cardstock), a layering stencil, blending solution, mini ink blending tool, blending foam. *note: glossy cardstock and alcohol ink cardstock from ranger are the same thing, however it is completely different than gloss photo paper.  gloss photo paper will not work well with alcohol inks since it’s emulsion-based and will become very sticky when inked.


step 2: apply a puddle of blending solution to the craft sheet.


step 3: tap mini blending tool into the blending solution to distribute the solution into the foam.


step 4: place a layering stencil over the glossy cardstock and tap the blending tool through the stencil to apply the blending solution.  *note: you need to work quickly as blending solution dries fast – if it’s too dry, apply more to the craft sheet.


step 5: reposition the stencil and repeat previous steps making sure you have wet blending solution on the foam when you’re tapping over the stencil.


step 6: once you’re finished, clean the stencil with soap and water. *note: you don’t really see anything at this point since the blending solution dries clear.


step 7: apply a light color of alcohol ink to the craft sheet.  it’s important to use a “light” color since we don’t want to add any blending solution to the craft sheet to dilute the inks.  if the color is too dark or  too diluted with blending solution, it won’t be as effective for this technique.  (i used lake mist)


step 8: quickly and lightly drag paper through the ink glossy side down and repeat until covered with a few layers of ink.


step 9: turn paper over to reveal the ghosted background – cool huh?  by applying blending solution to the paper first, it keeps those stenciled areas lighter than the rest of the background. *note: when trying any new technique remember it may not always be perfect the first time so embrace the process.  after all, it’s just ink and paper at this point so practice makes perfect.


step 10: trim paper to the size for the tag, and stamp image with jet black archival ink – dry with a heat tool.


step 11: adhere background to a tag with your favorite adhesive.


step 12: apply remnant rubs to your background for contrast.


step 13: cut two strips of alcohol ink cardstock and gather various colors of alcohol inks, ink applicator tool, and extra felts.


step 14: apply two tones of inks to the felt on the ink tool.  add a drop of metallic mixative and blending solution then tap the tool on to a section of the glossy cardstock.


step 15: change felt, and repeat with various colors in different sections of the cardstock until completely covered with ink.


step 16: place inked cardstock face-down on butterfly frenzy die and run through vagabond machine or big shot.


step 17: check out all of those butterflies!  looking good so far, but don’t pop out all of the butterflies just yet.


step 18: ink a text stamp with jet black archival ink and stamp random over butterflies.


step 19: now pop all of the butterflies out of the die.


step 20: to create a faded stamped layer, apply lake mist alcohol ink and blending solution to ink tool and tap over all butterflies.


step 21: this will create a faded effect on the butterflies and somewhat smear your stamped images since the blending solution reacts with the archival ink.  since i wanted this effect to be random i prefer to do this after the butterflies are removed from the cardstock sheet.


step 22: begin folding the butterflies in half and adhere to the background using a small amount of glossy accents.


step 23: continue adhering all butterflies until desired look is achieved – love all the different shapes and sizes from this die.


the details: the contrast of the remnant rubs on the background is a great way to add text to slick surfaces.


the details: the subtle faded layer from the stencil gives the background added depth.


the details: this colorful cluster of inked and stamped butterflies is a the perfect embellishment.

congrats to the winners from the august 12 tags of 2014.  if you see your name (and it links to your tag), please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…
1. victorian studio
2. Ann R
3. diana
4. Winnie
5. Jane
6. Bella\’s Scrappin\’ Space
7. FlutterbyGandC
8. Irene McBeatle
9. papercrafter45
10. Judy Biggerstaff
11. Ruth
12. Brandy

*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can
click the links below to purchase online…
(SSS=simon says stamp / IE=inspiration emporium)

GREAT NEWS! both of these online stores are offering a discount of 10% off your purchase – use the following codes with your order:
(SSS code: TH10SEPT / IE code: timtime)

click here (IE|SSS)


CMS104 Curiosities (IE|sss)


Schoolhouse Layering Stencil THS011 (SSS|IE)


Butterfly Frenzy (IE|SSS)


#8 Black Tags (IE|SSS)


Glossy Paper (SSS|IE)


Alcohol Ink Cardstock (SSS|IE)


Botanical Remnant Rubs (SSS|IE)


Crinkle Ribbon (IE|SSS)


Poppyfield Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Red Pepper Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Sunset Orange Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Rust Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Sunshine Yellow Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Honeycomb Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Lettuce Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Meadow Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Botanical Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Mermaid Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Pool Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Cloudy Blue Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Eggplant Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Wild Plum Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Purple Twilight Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)


Pebble Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Mushroom Alcohol Ink (IE|SSS)


Alcohol Ink Mixative – Gold (IE|SSS)


Jet Black Archival Pad (SSS|IE)


Glossy Accents (SSS|IE)


Alcohol Blending Solution (IE|SSS)


Ink Applicator Tool (SSS|IE)


Mini Ink Blending Tool (IE|SSS)


Grid Blocks (IE|SSS)


Craft Sheet (SSS|IE)


Heat Tool (SSS|IE)


Decorative Strip Cutting Pads (SSS|IE)


Vagabond (IE|SSS)


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137 Comments to “12 tags of 2014 – september…”

  1. […] 12 tags of 2014 – september… – i absolutely love these inks and their versatility on so many different surfaces that result in amazing effects. i just wanted to play by mixing various colors, metallic mixatives, and manipulating the inks with blending … […]

  2. […] Cutting Edge Crafts, Craft Supplies, UK – Cricut accessories Cutting Edge Crafts offers a wide range of quality craft supplies with free postage and packaging on every order. Sizzix.com – Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip Alphabet Die … Sizzix Sidekick Machine Sizzix Big Shot Machine Sizzix Vagabond Machine Sizzix BIGkick Machine Sizzix Big Shot Pro Machine Layers of ink – blogspot.com Hello all! In the very last minute, here is my version of Tim Holtz 12 tags of 2014 September … In My Own Imagination – blogspot.com I used papers… […]

  3. […] Tim Holtz’s September Tag 2014 […]

  4. […] month.  Making that card gave me some great practice with his faded alcohol ink technique (seen here).  So I got the look I wanted on the 1st try and thankfully didn’t waste any glossy […]

  5. Bobbi says:

    Tim,I absolutely LOVE this tag! Thank you so much for all you do and for being such an inspiration to us all!

  6. […] is my take on this month’s tag from the Tim Holtz tag challenge.  Once again this month I let the days fly by and I almost missed it.  My excuse this […]

  7. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  8. Loved this, thank you 🙂

  9. Thank you for the monthly inspiration!

  10. Elise K says:

    Absolutely gorgeous tag Tim! I love this technique and will be experimenting more with it. Had so much fun making this tag! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  11. […] Today’s workdesk shows quite the array of supplies needed for Tim Holtz’s September  tag. […]

  12. The tags from this month are all just beautiful, I loved seeing all the different interpretations of Tim’s tag. a beautiful explosion of colors. This is probably my favorite tag this year 🙂

  13. Julia Aston says:

    I had some trouble getting the background stenciling to show up – will have to keep trying it – otherwise – I love how my tag came out!

  14. Patty says:

    This isn’t normally my style, but I love it!

  15. kirti says:

    inspired me to go a journal page

  16. Donna Johnston says:

    join blog

  17. One day, I’ll actually have all the items needed (in my dreams!!) In the meantime, I’m enjoying using what I have to try out these amazing techniques. Thanks for the great tutorial and inspiration as ever 🙂

  18. […] is my version of Tim’s September tag.  Like his example, I used a resist background (different technique), rub-ons, and those colorful […]

  19. Wilma Fox says:

    What a wonderful colourful tag this month, a bit fall inspired but more colour. Thank you for your informative tutorial as always.

  20. […] i believe art allows our creativity to escape understanding… for me, that means sometimes encouraging myself to try new things, be open to different styles and techniques. i also believe the onl…  […]

  21. This is beautiful. I haven’t unpacked yet so I miss creating desperately

  22. Christina C says:

    This is absolutely beautiful!! I love it!!

  23. cheiron says:

    Loved making this tag! How fun to take out all my alcohol inks and just play 🙂

  24. Heather says:

    I love the idea of using the blending solution in this way. You always inspire so thank you for that! Beautiful tag!

  25. Cindi Truitt says:

    This creation is absolutely beautiful..The mix of the inks and ghost background reveals a unique style One of my all time favorite tags…
    I am truly inspired by all the variations.

    Cindi Truitt

  26. […] decided to go larger for Tim’s September Tag Challenge, & made a journal page […]

  27. […] to try Tim Holtz’s alcohol ink ghosting effect for this month’s tag tutorial seen here.  (Not to worry, this isn’t replacing my monthly tag.)  The general concept is you tap […]

  28. Sheri Hartley says:

    Love the “butterfly” hat! Ha. Very cool tag!!!

  29. Kirsten Alicia says:

    Wow, such a terrific tag, the stencilled background looks so effective.

  30. Antonia says:

    Congrats to all the very worthy winners! Thank you once agin Tim for a fabulous tag. After last month’s fabulous, loaded with technique tag, this one is beautiful in it’s ‘simplicity’ looking forward to giving this a go! Xx

  31. […] we all need to dream in color…” was Tim’s September 12 tags of 2014 message! For for this crafter, (who dreams in shades of brown), it was going to be a […]

  32. Wanda Thomas says:

    WOW! That’s all I can say……

  33. Amy* says:

    Tim I love it when you get crazy colorful! Quite possibly my fave Tim tag EVER!


  34. Awesome I am so looking forward to playing with these techniques how much fun 🙂

  35. Pia F says:

    this very post is why I am a fan of yours . . . your strong belief in the importance of creativity.
    I am also a strong proponent of ’embracing the imperfections’. It’s the BEST way to create something new and wonderful.
    Thank you for your inspiring attitudes t!m. It’s your greatest gift to us 🙂

  36. Patty Pearson says:

    I love butterflies so this really appeals to me. Cool technique for the background. I have all the products so I have to try this. Thanks for the inspiration and for revisiting products to use them in a new way!!!

  37. Really nice. Not sure how I missed that Butterfly die but will have to track it down!

  38. Nancy B says:

    Wow! Who knew that you could use blending solution to create that ghost effect! Thank you for teaching us that. Love the beautiful tag.

  39. Robin says:

    This tag is just beautiful! I love the butterfly hair – sometimes I dream of having hair just like that! Thanks for bringing my dream to life!

  40. Kelly Karas says:

    the ghosting technique is super cool, i love how the black stamped image just pops. i will be giving that a try.

  41. pcake62 says:

    What a wonderful group of talented ladies out there.

  42. Jingle says:

    Wow! This is just stunning! I love the simplicity of the final design and all of the techniques used to achieve that look!

  43. Roxanne says:

    Love the technique here! Soooo Dreamy! thanks for sharing!:)

  44. Cim Allen says:

    Congrats winners

  45. Vernetta says:

    This is so cool! I have a question…will that alcohol blending solution resist technique work on other types of surfaces or mediums than the glossy paper? If so, which ones?

  46. Linda Grady says:

    What a neat technique; great look on the tag. Love those butterflies.

  47. Randi M. says:

    This is just awesome!! You are just amazing. I am also very much loving the different designers on the blog now too, everyone is sooooo talented.

  48. Tim, it’s gorgeous! I am a total sucker for anything in a rainbow of colours and this is such a striking way to do it. Thanks also for convincing me that yes, I really do need that butterfly die… I’ve been drooling over it for a while now 🙂

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