Wednesday 18 December 2013

Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas - Tag#4 - Enchanted Forest

Today Mr Magpie and I have been out and about delivering presents and cards to old friends. Christmas has sneaked up on us so quickly this year that we are having to play Christmas postman ourselves or cards and pressies will never arrive in time! This Christmas has been so special because I discovered the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas! Linda's challenge and the rules for playing along can be found here, you still have until the 8th January so do join in if you can. The Funkie Junkie Boutique, which can be found here is offering a prize and also great discounts to anyone who manages to follow Linda's inspiration and complete all twelve tags. There are a bonus two due to be published on December 23rd and the 30th so watch out for these posts! For my tag today I was inspired by Linda's Tag#4 which you can see here. Now what exactly did I take as my inspiration from Linda's creation?
This time it was the way Linda had used designer papers so imaginatively on her tag. I had in a supply of Bo Bunny papers from the Silver and Gold range. I loved the colours and the images on these papers and how the stags seemed to emerge from misty woods. I always feel a little bit guilty about using papers like this. They are so very beautiful to begin with, it feels like cheating! However, Linda had made the Maja papers look really individual and special, so I was inspired to have a go at working with designer papers too.
I liked the idea of starting with strips of paper and working from there. Linda had text at the centre of her tag. I chose to showcase this mysterious and beautiful stag all bedecked with holly and snowflakes. I didn't have the embossing paste used by Linda, which sounded so much fun and which I'm adding to my ever growing list of 'must haves'. To create even more of a misty look, I distressed the edge of my central strip of paper with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Walnut Stain, Frayed Burlap and just a hint of Peeled Paint. I then stamped some medieval script from the Paper Artsy Mini 26, which I find I've been using a lot this Christmas. I used Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival. This paper is double sided so on one side I flipped over to the design of golden holly and on the other used another strip from the same design as my central image. Because the paper co-ordinates across the range I used some complementary strips of holly on the top and bottom pediments of the tag.
I used some Dresden Foil strips, which I aged by brushing the rather bright gold with Green Amber Treasure Gold. For the top pediment I painted with some Paper Artsy Fresco Nougat, a coat of Paper Artsy Old Gold and then a thin coat of Green Amber Treasure Gold. I punched out two little leaves stamped with the Medieval script on a Nougat base and finished with a little red pearl to serve as a berry. I was also inspired by the gingham fabric used on Linda's tag. I had some green gingham ribbon so I used this to form my loop.

For the lower pediment I used, not one of the Tim Holtz pediment dies but the lower part of the window die by Tim Holtz. I made a tattered floral flower from some of the background paper and one of the pages from my old Christmas book. It is on the theme of Christmas Roses. I painted the petals with some Fresco in Vanilla and Caramel and edged with Festive Berries Distress Ink and some White Fire Treasure Gold. I then added the sentiment from Artistic Outpost's Snowy Woods on a die-cut shape painted with Nougat, Cinnamon and Chocolate Pudding.

Some Frantage, a tiny leaf and some miniature bells completed my tag#4. The more I worked on the strips and elements that made up this tag, the more it came to resemble a decorated pillar. I imagined the mysterious stag as a kind of guide, part animal, part mythological creature who leads pilgrims through the misty woods to an enchanted castle. Ever since primary school, when I first heard it, I have been fascinated by the Christmas Carol known as The Falcon or Corpus Christi Carol. It begins with the words, 'Down in yon forest there stands a hall.' Apparently the first versions of this carol date from around the year 1400 and it describes a hall 'hung all with purple' in which a knight lies wounded, watched over by a maiden. The singer says 'I heard the bells of paradise ring...'so I was glad that I had my tiny bells in my stash. The carol has links with the legend of the holy grail, the cup used at the last supper; the knight lying wounded is Jesus and the maiden is his mother, Mary.  Whatever its origins it really embodies the mystery and wonder of Christmas. Thank you again for dropping by for a peek at my 12 Tags. I should like to enter this - my version of Tag#4 for the Funkie Junkie Challenge. Tomorrow I will be posting Tag#12. I can't believe I have now competed eleven tags! Thank you Linda for running such a brilliant challenge. I am so glad I found out about it and had the opportunity to link up my tags.


  1. Wow, you're on a roll with these aren't ya, another fabulous festive tag and love that reindeer

    Sam xxx

  2. Beautiful work Julie Ann, stunning Tag:-)

  3. Sensational reindeer with the flourish horns - so beautiful the gold with dangling ornaments and a lovely wreath around her neck! Love the Dresden foil and the way you used the Pediments and Window die cuts. Such a lovely take on tag #4!


  4. Gorgeous! I love the reindeer & the flower is fab.

  5. Gorgeous tag and buck is beautiful as well all dressed up for Christmas. Next year I hope I am organized to play along too!!
    Merry Christmas!!

  6. The idea of the strips of paper is wonderful, a gorgeously sumptuous tag, it really has been a joy to come and visit to view the tags you create for this challenge.
    Festive Wishes

  7. Wow I nearly missed this one Julie Ann. Love the way you have used the pediment die and the base of the window sill to extend the tag, and I love the side trimmings too. I always feel guilty about using papers like its cheating too, but it is good to break the mold and use them every so often, especially when they look as good as your tag. Hugs Mo x

  8. I love the story & inspiration behind this beautiful tag Julie Ann.
    Alison xxx

  9. Love the strips of paper, and those wonderful decorative edges... a gorgeous tag, with a wonderful deer at the heart. And a new carol to explore - thank you so much for that!
    Alison xx

  10. Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous stunning tag.
    I love the main deer image, so bold and awesome, and of course as always Iove all those little details you do so well. The decorative edges are so beautiful and I have now learned of a new carol to find for crimbo this year lol. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann xxxxxxxx


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