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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Retro Art Tag with Translucent Mixed-Media Layers

My darlings! I have another tag for you this week, featuring more stamps from my beloved going-out-of-business Stampsmith. Once the remaining stock on Etsy is gone, there will be no more of these fabulous quirky vintage/retro images!  ;-(  Git you some while the gittin's good! For cheaps, too!

Behold the tag:

Here's what was done. I made a mixed-media background for the tag that has a great layered, translucent quality. On top I collaged a print of two stamps:

Meet Maxine. She is one of The Stampsmith's famed photostamps, and her expressive face and hands mean that she can serve as a wonderful spokesmodel for anything you want her to say.  :)

For this tag, I stamped her with brown and black Stazon ink (mixed right on the stamp) onto some glossy photo paper. Then I masked Maxine and stamped this fab image ("Bed of Roses") around her:

I painted the roses with Distress Inks dabbed onto a craft sheet (Candied Apple, Barn Door, Aged Mahogany) and gave Maxine a halo of Abandoned Coral, then set the image aside to do the tag background.

Now on my craft sheet I swirled Distress Paint in the same hues of red, plus metallic gold and bronze, spritzed my tag and the paint with water, and dragged the tag into the paint. After drying with a heat tool, I rubbed some more Distress Ink over the whole surface with a mini ink tool and misted it with shimmer spray to let that layer of color bleed together and flow down the tag. I sprinkled on some Perfect Pearls powder in gold for good measure while it was wet, and let the tag dry. 

(Tim Holtz has a tutorial on essentially this technique here. He uses colors designed to mimic the patina of copper, whereas I kept mine in close tones for a subtle, glowing look, but it's a great technique that gives richness and depth no matter what colors you choose.)

Once the tag was dry, I stamped some rose images from another company (Deep Red Stamps) in maroon chalk ink in various intensities. This amplified the layered, dimensional effect, making some of the stamp prints look as though they were showing through layers of color.

Here is another photograph in different lighting, so you can see more of the translucence and metallic shimmer:

Now it was time to put it all together. I edged Maxine and the tag in chalk ink. And here are the two parts of the piece before assembly.  :)

Lastly, I printed out my quote in a vintage-inspired font with an insouciant personality to match Maxine's, and sketch-outlined the words in two shades of red Distress marker before cutting and collaging down onto the tag.

I topped the tag off with some whitish satiny ribbon, and saucy Maxine was good to go.

As always, I welcome your comments below. (Oh, wait--[tap tap]--was this thing even on???)


  1. LOVE the rosy background and your coloration, and that image of the gal is great! FUN tag!!!

    1. Isn't that a great image? Love Maxine! Thanks for the kind words, sweet Anita. :)