12 tags of 2013 – november…


i hope everyone had a great weekend and took time doing something creative. between unpacking suitcases, laundry, and catching up on sleep (to get back to this timezone) it was important to make time to create.  this month’s 12 tags is inspired by one of my favorite techniques i taught in creative chemistry 102 last month.  with the popularity of chalk art, i’ve seen many attempts to mimic it’s sketchy, smudgy, yet stylistic look including my own attempts.  i’ve tried paints, inks, and powders, but nothing really gave me the chalk look that i wanted.  so i started thinking of what creative tools might work and the answer was there all along…chalk itself!  the challenge of course was finding a way to incorporate stamps and chalk since my ability to create freehand works of chalk art like those of the talented rhonna farrer are nonexistent (man i love her work!)…

well today’s chalkboard stamping technique creates the cool effect of chalkboard art yet allows you to use some of your favorite stamped images as the design elements.  to make it even better, i’m using one of my new stamp/framelits die sets from sizzix alterations and stampers anonymous to allow me the convenience to stamp, die cut, and layer my image with ease.  now before we start this tag, i want to remind you that this technique may take a few attempts to master it, so remember to give yourself the freedom to embrace imperfection and enjoy the creative process…

supplies: antiquites embossing powder/frosted crystal, distress embossing ink, craft sheet, heat tool, distress ink/pumice stone, archival ink/jet black, mister, #8 tags/black/manila; stamp/framelits die set leaf blueprint, magnetic platform, vagabond; grid-blocks; crinkle ribbon; white chalk; foam tape

check out this demo video from cha showing these new stamp/framelit sets and the new magnetic platform from sizzix in action…

DSC07136step 1: start with the stamp/framelit die set.  note: the stamps on these sets are a different size from those on the stampers CMS set due to the sizing requirements for the corresponding dies.  many ask if just the dies are sold separately and they are not since they won’t fit the existing CMS stamp set anyways.  keep in mind you can still use your CMS stamp set for this, but you will need to cut each layer out by hand.

DSC07137step 2: place stamp on grid-block and ink with distress embossing ink.

DSC07138step 3: stamp your image on to a black tag.

DSC07139step 4: cover stamped imaged with frosted crystal embossing powder.

DSC07140step 5: remove excess powder prior to heating (do not flick the tag to do so).

DSC07141step 6: heat emboss until the powder becomes clear and matte finish.

DSC07143note: i wanted to show the do’s and don’t with this particular embossing powder as it’s vital to this technique working.  the tag on the left shows the CORRECT way the embossing should look (clear/matte).  the tag on the right shows the INCORRECT way due to overheating the embossing (clear/shiny).  if this happens you will need to start over for this technique to work properly – remember do not overheat the embossing powder.

DSC07144step 7: emboss 3 black tags with the same image using frosted crystal embossing powder.

DSC07145step 8: scribble plain chalk over embossing image (i prefer to start my chalk on a piece of scrap paper to smooth any sharp edges of the chalk).

DSC07146step 9: continue until entire image is scribbled over as well as adding a few more scribbles to the background.

DSC07147step 10: using your hand, rub the chalk over the image and around the tag.  frosted crystal embossing powder is a unique embossing powder that creates a “frosted” surfaces therefore adding “tooth” to the surface.  this is what allows the chalk to embed into the embossed design.  as you continue to rub over the embossed design, more chalk will be removed, but the majority of the chalk adheres to the image – cool huh?

DSC07148step 11: repeat previous steps for all 3 tags.  note: if you wipe over these tags with a cloth vs. your hand, most of the chalk will be removed so just use your hands.  also, this is a chalkboard look we’re going for and just like a chalkboard, you cannot seal it with anything or it will compromise the finish.  you can still make a card, mail a card, scrapbook with this, etc.  the chalk won’t rub off entirely simply by touching it so don’t worry.

DSC07150step 12: next we’re going to die cut the layered pieces for the tag, so my first layer is the magnetic platform.  i’m using the new magnetic platform from sizzix with the vagabond because it’s the best thing ever for thin dies.  you only need it and the 2 clear cutting pads you would normally use – no more shims, no more die adapters.

DSC07151step 13: place one clear cutting pad on to the magnetic platform.

DSC07152step 14: place one tag and the framelit die you want to use (blade side down) over the image.

DSC07153step 15: position the die directly around the area you want to cut.  the strong magnets in the platform allow for precision and no need to tape anything down at all.

DSC07154step 16: place the second clear cutting pad on top and run it through your vagabond or big shot.

DSC07155step 17: once the die is removed from the platform, simply pop out the die cut piece – easy as that!

DSC07156step 18: place another tag onto the platform and cutting pad, position one of the half dies on the design and die cut.

DSC07157step 19: remove the die and cut piece and place the second half die on the other part of the leaf and die cut. note: do not try to layer both half dies at the same time or your may damage the dies and the machine.

DSC07158step 20: when removing the cut pieces from the dies, sometimes excess chalk comes off, just retouch any areas with more chalk as needed.

DSC07161step 21: apply pumice stone distress ink to a piece of card stock, mist with water to blend, and let dry.

DSC07162step 22: stamp the included frame and saying using jet black archival ink.

DSC07164step 23: repeat steps shown above to die cut the label.

DSC07165note: this is what you should have at this point.

DSC07166step 24: using foam tape or glue dots, adhere to the back of the solid leaf.

DSC07167step 25: adhere to the base tag as shown.

DSC07168step 26: using foam tape or glue dots, adhere the bottom half leaf to the solid leaf as shown.

DSC07169step 27: using foam tape or glue dots, apply 2 layers for the top half of the leaf for added dimension.

DSC07170step 28: adhere to the top half leaf to the solid leaf as shown.

DSC07171step 29: adhere the bottom label to the tag with foam tape and sketch around the outside of the tag with chalk to finish the look.

DSC07179the details: i love the realistic look of using chalk with stamps for the ultimate chalkboard art effect.

richelesamplethe details: here’s a great card using this stamp/framelit set from richele christensen – check it out here.

so what do you think?  endless possibilities for this one right?  if you’re one of those people who can draw or have amazing handwriting skills, you can also use this technique with a embossing pen instead of the stamp to share chalkboard art with your own personalized touch!  imagine using this technique with your favorite alphabet stamp set to create place setting cards for thanksgiving, or gift tags for christmas, or on cards or scrapbook pages.  if you love the look of chalkboard art you should definitely give this one a try – i can’t wait to see what you come up with this month.  just remember to have fun…t!m

congrats to the winners from the october 12 tags of 2013.
if you see your name (and it links to your tag)
please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…

1. peg robinson
2. crystal tang
3. lisa kind
4. claudine criner
5. deb horst
6. caroline duncan
7. astrid
8. connie riley
9. tanya s
10. anita houston
11. dagmar

*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: NOVTAG10 / IE code: timtime)

click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


Antiquities Frosted Crystal EP (IE|SSS)


Buy it here! (IE|SSS)


Jet Black Archival Pad (SSS|IE)


Distress Embossing Ink (IE|SSS)


Craft Sheet (IE|SSS)


Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101