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. Helen says:

    Wow! Stunning tag Tim! I think I need that butterfly die 😉

  2. Anna-Karin says:

    It is gorgeous Tim! Love that cool alcohol ink technique and the bright butterflies are wonderful.

  3. Julie S says:

    Wow, really beautiful tag again this month.

  4. Veronica Reilly says:

    LOVE THIS!!! What a beautiful tag and great idea. Now, off to make my own. 😀

  5. Hetty says:

    Tim,I love this tag!!!It is amazing and so beautiful. Great new technique. Will have to give it a try.

  6. Ruth says:

    I’m loving faded layers at the moment so can’t wait to try this spin on it….and thanks so much for picking my tag, nearly fell off my chair! Ruth x

  7. What a beautiful tag, I love the ghostly image on the tag background, and the butterflies are fabulous.

  8. Jane says:

    Stunning work, I don’t have any alcohol inks, I guess it’s time to buy one to play with! I hope to join in again this month..time is going so quickly, number 9 tag already. Thanks for your awesome creativity

  9. Dodie says:

    Be still my heart! This is stunning! I can’t wait to try it myself … I have an idea to use it for a card.

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the August win! I love this tag and can’t wait to get to my desk to make it. Great new discovery with the stencils.

  11. Dolly says:

    Beautiful. And so colorful. I love it.

  12. Maureen says:

    Wow! Thank you for choosing my August tag! I am thrilled and so honored. Can’t wait to try out your September inspiration – I have learned so much this year with you Tim; and at the same time venturing beyond my normal “comfort level” – and being pleasantly surprised at the results!

  13. Redanne says:

    Love this latest tag, the butterflies look amazing. Thank you so much for choosing my tag as a winner this month, I am so thrilled! Anne x

  14. Deborah Pilon says:

    absolutely stunning! And perfect timing, as I just received my butterfly frenzy die from SSS!

  15. Mary Jane W says:

    Very, very beautiful!

  16. Tona says:

    I LOVE this tag! I can’t wait to get started. Once again, thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Diana says:

    THANK YOU!!!! so excited to have been chosen!! like totally excited. congrats to all the winners. i am now off to explore!
    and this tag, the september one.. speechless!! can’t wait to see what comes out of this inspiration!

  18. gio says:

    Gorgeous and unusual tag! I’m in awe of the new technique, I love to use my alcohol inks!

  19. Cindy says:

    Very nice!

  20. Loraine says:

    Oh I love this and I have quite a few of the ingredients to have a go!! Thanks once again Tim x

  21. Barbara L says:

    Thanks for pushing us back to the alcohol inks. I tend to forget them. The colors are sooo vibrant and are great with the butterflies. Oh, and the ghosting technique reminder is good too. Too many things to remember.

  22. Barbara Albrecht says:

    OMG, TIM!!! I LOVE this tag!!! Have to dig out the AI’s and give it a go. Thank you so much for continuing the 12 tags!!

  23. Brandy says:

    What a cool looking tag! I love all of the butterflies and the bright colors of them. Cannot wait to try all of these techniques out for this month’s tag.

  24. Robyn says:

    Interesting technique and a fun new use for the alcohol inks. Thanks

  25. Sharon Young says:

    Oh I love your maiden with the butterfly hair! Great techniques I look forward to trying. Thanks Tim.

  26. WilmaB says:

    Ooooooohhhhh, W O W this is a fantastic tag.
    Congrats to the lucky winners.

  27. faye Maylam says:

    This tag is so cool. I love the technique you’ve used making this

  28. Sue says:

    Gorgeous tag! Now I know why I need the butterfly strip die, I balked every time, now I get it! Happy Labor Day!

  29. Yvonne Blair says:

    Tim…I absolutely LOVE this tag! I love that you love to explore new creative ideas and then share them with us! You truly are the MASTER and inspire so many! I know for me you did and do. LOVE the colorful butterflies, wink…and I am going to try this way to do the faded layer…it seems to make it more crisp! Thanks so much for your neverending inspiration, imagination and creative adventure that takes us on this fabulous artful journey!

  30. Jo Ann D. says:

    So dang beautiful! Your creativity never ceases to stop me in my tracks!!! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Johanne Lacombe says:

    I always love to learn new techniques. I will definitely try it with the alcool inks I have. Thanks for sharing,

  32. Deb L says:

    I adore this tag Tim! The colorful butterflies bring life to this beautiful woman’s face!

  33. rosiej says:

    Oh my what a lovely card. And the technique seems so easy to do but it makes the card so interesting. Love it.

  34. Anja says:

    Wow your Tag looks amazing!! Great colors :))

  35. Wow! I was surprised by the colors! They just popped right off the page. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  36. Pam B says:

    Oh, I can’t wait to try this! Love the background effect, and all the butterflies!

  37. Judi Markel says:

    Love the tag! Your work is always awesome.

  38. Gorgeous! I love alcohol inks and the faded layers is so fun. Adore your new spin on it, can’t wait to play:)
    Happy Labor Day and GRATZ to all the winners, such awesome tags!

  39. You AMAZE me trying a new style! I love that!!! Awesome new technique, and it blows me away…never would have thought about it! Love the rainbow of butterflies, and you’ve given me an idea! Off to order some Lake Mist Alcohol Ink!!! Swooning over this tag!!!! Oh and congrats to the winners!!

  40. Theresa B. says:

    What a beautiful and quick card to make. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks T!m!

  41. Violet says:

    love your tag, as usual. I think I’ll try this one myself.

  42. Majo says:

    This is soooo cool, I will have to get at it right away 😉

  43. This is beautiful, I love that you used the blending solution in such a innovative way.

  44. Zoe Hillman says:

    Superb tag, I love the depth and colour. I’m a big fan of the swipe technique so can’t wait to try it with alcohol inks. Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with, last months tags are AMAZING.

  45. Cindy Marlow says:

    This one is a head slapper…as in “Why didn’t I think of that?”! Once again, you have shown why you are the master.

  46. chelle says:

    fantastic!!! love the new ghosting technique and the color…great things can happen when we try something new! thank you!

  47. SusanK says:

    Bring on the color!!!!!!!! Congrats to the August winners! Off to labor, strike that, PLAY with all my tools to see what happens on my version of the September tag!

  48. Kara Beth says:

    Love this tag!!!

  49. donna russell says:

    awesome tag I love this and can’t wait to try it myself. The colors are so vibrant thanks for sharing

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