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A Season of Thanks Mixed Media Tag

With only a limited time available for my ‘making’ time and the holidays approaching fast, I’ve had a hard time choosing between creating in my art journal and working with my Julie Nutting doll stamps.  Because the tags I make with the dolls can also be given in place of a card, today’s project is a Thanksgiving tag.  The doll stamps won out on this one.

For my tags, I always start out with a 9” x 5 ½“chipboard tag that I cut out on my Cricut Explore.  I know there are tags out there that you can purchase specifically for the dolls, but these are an inch taller and two inches wider, giving me more room for mixed media embellishments.  I also use a heavy chipboard which I usually cover with a matching tag cut from heavy watercolor paper.  This makes for a strong base, even when layering wet mediums for background or adding embellishments with a bit of weight to them.

I attach the watercolor paper to the chipboard with gel medium. If I’m using Dylusions spray ink, I like to use them on the watercolor tag before I adhere it to the chipboard. This is because the spray inks really saturate the watercolor paper and it dries faster if it’s not attached. For this tag however, I knew I was using paint for my background, so no need to wait.

I love the look of the printed tissue paper for backgrounds, but I didn’t have any in my stash.  I did have some white tissue paper though, so I used one of my Tim Holtz Reflections stamps on the back side with Archival Ink in Jet Black.  Once the ink dried, I then covered the entire tag with my DIY printed tissue paper using gel medium.

When I’m creating, I know I have limited time, so I use an embossing heat gun to speed up drying time.   Once the gel medium was dry, using a baby wipe I applied Lemon Yellow, Vermillion and Burnt Sienna gouache paint, blending them together so that I ended up with a soft, golden background with areas that were lighter and darker giving an awesome effect.  I used gouache paints because I wanted the transparency. They gave great color while still letting the printed tissue show through.  I’d love a bunch of Distress Paints, but they aren’t in my budget, this set of Artist’s Loft Gouache paint isn’t Distress, but it works pretty well.

I knew I wanted to create a doll with a warm knit cap and matching sweater. I only own three of the larger doll stamps at the moment, Candie, Marisol and Lorena.  In order to get the look I wanted I used the top half of Candie and the bottom half of Marisol.  For the clothes, I used stamps for the hat, boots and jeans (cutting the boots shorter and the jeans into ‘skinny’ jeans) and using the doll as a guide I created the sweater myself.  I also created the braids, drawing a series of lop-sided hearts nested together. The cable detail on the front of the sweater was created in a similar way. I also decided last minute to add a bit of shearling to the top of her boots, so I simply hand cut some ‘fluffy’ pieces from the same paper I used for the hat and sweater.

Once everything was cut out I used Copic markers to color skin, hair and add shading to the clothes.  Then I dressed the doll (I named her Autumn) using Zig glue pen and added one of the coffee stickers I created for my planner to her hand with a couple of hand cut vellum wisps for steam. Autumn paper doll

Once Autumn was complete, it was time to go back to the background on the tag.  In my stash I had some leaves cut from book paper (from a book that was bound for the trash)  as well as a pumpkin and acorns from a mini Tim Holtz Mover’s and Shaper’s die that I had cut before my move last year. (These dies are in my daughter’s basement at the moment…somewhere… or I probably would have cut more for this tag).  I colored the leaves and shaded the pumpkin and acorns with my Copics and then distressed the edges of them all with my mini Distress Ink pad in Walnut Stain using a blending tool.  I then used my black fine tipped Pitt pen to add details. (By the way, I used this pen to add details to the sweater, braids, etc. too.)

I attached the leaves with gel medium in a ‘pile’ layering them over each other and the pumpkin die cut, then glued the acorns on top.  Once they were dry I used my black Pitt Brush pen to create more dimension by shading around them and the pile.  Using the Distress Walnut Stain ink I added shading all around the tag as well. Then I used foam pop dots to add Autumn to the tag on the left hand side. stamped pennant

Using one of the little pennant stamps I got from the $1 bin at Michael’s and a mini alphabet set I had in my stash I created a banner that spelled out “A Season of Thanks” I stamped them on cream colored cardstock with my Memento’s Dew Drops in Rich Cocoa, Rhubarb Stalk, Potters Clay and Desert Sand from the Arizona Canyons set.  I added a white highlight to the inside of each letter with my white Sakura Gelly Roll pen just to make the letters stand out more.

Now it was time to have some fun with my Crop-o-dile Big Bite, punching holes and setting copper eyelets in the tag.  So, so much easier than hand punching and using the hammer and setting tools! pennant banners

When I cut out the pennants I left some additional paper at the top so I could fold it over a thin piece of raffia ribbon and glue them in place.  Then I threaded the ribbon through the eyelets and tied a small knot on the back of the tag, taping it down with washi tape. I added matching raffia ribbon to the top of the tag and my “Season of Thanks” paper doll tag was complete and ready to place a sentiment on the back if I wanted to use it as a card.

I love her and I think she captures the crisp fall days of November.  What do you think?

Share your thoughts or any questions you may have about this tag, the techniques or supplies used in the comment area below!

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