Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Night at the Opera by Alan Scott

I thought I would go back to making tags for the next few projects. I guess I have been inspired by that fab Designer and inspirational artist Dyan Reaveley (I have linked to her You Tube channel so you can see what her products can do).

So you can guess that her masks, stencils, inks and stamp collections will play a big part in these projects.

I have to say from the start that I am not trying to copy what she has done (however that's very hard as she has almost covered every part of being creative in some way or another).

However I am hopeful that I have been able to inspire you to get everything out from that crafting stash and just play.

All the goodies I have used are available from your 1 stop crafting shop online and that is That's Crafty. Laura keeps the site fresh and always has new and interesting crafting items there ready for your crafting projects.



StazOn Ink Cleaner - IndioBlu Easy Peasy Cleaner
Tim Holtz Alterations Thin Ticket Die
Clear Gesso or this will work just as well - Claudine Hellmuth Matte Medium
Heat Gun 
Kitchen paper towel (if you're not using the Project book)
Uni Posca - 0.7 Bullet Shapet Pink~ Yellow ~ Blue ~ Green Pen's
We R Memory Keepers Sew Stamper + stitch head stamp (these are only pre-inked up in black ink)
Set of small type face individual stamps
Double Sided Foam Strip/Pads



Once again this project can be split into sections. By doing this it alows us to keep the project flowing and you're not having to wait for this or that to dry/set etc.

Part 1: The Tag

Part 2: The Ticket Strip

Part 3: The Figure



The first thing I like to do when I'm going to be working with a lot of elements and the tag is a larger size, I do like to double up. This is just a personal thing, you don't have to do it. It's just me and my little brain going all O.C.D on me lol. 

After I had placed a lot of glue tape from my gun as it's going to be a lot easier to position one tag onto another, I like to use a good strong glue stick. Tombow is one of the best sticks out there - strong enough on its own, double strong when added to another glueing medium.

The finished tag ready for use (this is where I have to hold my hand up and say that I used my electronic paper cutting system and an old manilla folder).


As I was going to be throwing a lot of colour onto the surface, I opted to give the tag layer an extra key. This would also give the tag that little bit extra strength. As I have explained that by using gesso on a 'naked' surface, it does help with the colouring mediums that we then use later when we are adding colour to our projects. 

When the surface of the tag was dry (helped by a heat gun), I then go and wet it again!
I was doing this so that when I started to lay down colour from the Dylusions ink sprays it would help them mix. I don't know if you have used these but they are a very bright and intense colouring medium. A little goes a long way - they are PURE COLOUR.

I don't like wasting anything that can be used again. This is why after I had sprayed the tag with colour and allowed to mix into each other, I then placed it face down in a project book. As you can see, I have been able to transfer a lot of the colour from the tag. Now if I wanted the colours to be more intense or 'In Your Face', I could have just taken my heat gun and dried the tag. However I wanted a softer look. If you don't have a project book then good old kitchen paper towel is just as good. However don't throw the towel away as you can use that coloured paper as a backing paper. 

Finally, I took my heat gun and dried the tag and that 'set's' the ink.

Now the fun time.... Embellishment!  First I took a Map Stencil and a 'Clear Sparkle' mister and laid down my second layer. By just using a clear mist spray, it will not take away from the colours that we have worked hard to do in the first place. 

Now for some extra sparkle - for this I used Cosmic Shimmer Misters in a Green and a Blue. I used the star mask as it would fit in with the overall concept of the project.

The stars did bleed out a little and I wanted to have a sharp edge. For this I used some 'Chalk Paint' look pens. Once again if you don't have them then use any Sakura pens you might have - it's all about using what you have. 

Once again I dived into the Clear Gesso as it was about time I protected the layers that were previously done. If you don't have clear gesso, I have highlighted a very good alternative in the shopping list.

I bought this Memory Keepers stamping set a while back but I have not got round to using it before. This was the first project. It's a very handy tool and the heads are interchangeable. It is easy to use, however the only down side to me is that it has a black ink pad somewhere in the head. It would have been nice to have the option of using our own ink pads and not just black.


I have come across a wonderful set of stamps from Hero Arts. For all those of us that are not comfortable taking a brush and making small marks on our projects, then this is just PERFECT. I can give a very positive 10 out of 10 for this - there is one other stamp set that I think is perfect for any 'Newbie' to Altered Art and that is Tim Holtz Cling Mounted Stamp Set ~ Bitty Grunge. These two stamp sets will enable any crafter to make those background marks that work so well with projects like this.

By using different ink pads you're able to make great background impressions. I have used different manufacturers to show you that they will work with any type of ink. Sometimes some stamps work better with a certain ink type. These.. well anything that you throw at them, including water based colouring pens!

Now for the figure. For this I used a StazOn ink pad as I was going to use a water based colouring medium, as well as a water brush on the surface when it came to colour. When you're using any StazOn ink you have to clean your stamp right away. Get in the habit of doing this right away after you have made the impression and about to pack the ink pad away. By doing this you will have a long and happy life with your stamps and you will not fear using this form of ink pad.

Using a Distress marker, I wanted to colour the figure in bright colours. To get this faded look, it is a lot easier than you think and it's not with a little practice, hard to do. Place a block of colour from the pen in the region where you want the colour to be the strongest. Then using a wet brush start to drag the colour down. You can always add extra colour if the blending is becoming to weak. Just take your time. You can see what I mean by laying down a block of colour - look at the purple, it's just a small area. Practice on some scrap paper until you feel comfortable. Then when you're happy with the way it looks, take those glitter pens and just add some embellishments.

After I had cut the figure out from the card, I have this, well how can I put it.. I just don't like white around a cut out figure or embellishment when it's going to be a focal part of my project. So by going around the edge where there is white with a grey marker pen, it takes it away and helps the embellishment be a part of the overall project. 

Then the final touch was a layer of Glossy Accents. This not only protects the embellishment but for some strange reason, makes the glitter pen marks stand out and brighter.

After the coat of Glossy Accents was dry, I wanted the figure to stand up from the surface of the tag. By using double sided tape and some strong clear glue, I was able to achieve this effect.

The ticket section is easy to cut out if you have this cutting die from Tim Holtz. Once the strip had been cut out, using the blank ticket stamp and once again as I was going to be using dye based ink's StazOn was the best option, as the ticket background wouldn't smudge.


A while back while I was rummaging around in a 'Sale' bin, I came across a few sets of different type faces mounted on wooden stems. These are perfect for those smaller jobs that need wording.  
Once the wording had been sorted out, the next step was to give colour to the tickets. By mixing the 3 different shades you're able to give depth and an aged feel. Also if you're using just the one colour it will look flat.  
To give a little extra lift to the tickets , I added a bright red in areas as this would give a lift. As you can see from the photo above, I have only added the red in small areas. You don't want to cover all the blending you have done when we first started to add colour and depth.  
There you have it.... a tag that's bright and cheerful (I hope it is anyway).
As in all my projects, if you want to know anything or would like to leave a comment then please leave me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



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