Tag Party

While perusing my back issues of Somerset Life recently, I came across an article in which manila shipping tags had been tea-dyed, wrapped with lace and ribbons and enhanced with metal charms and chandelier crystals.  Ooooooh, pretty!  I had a few tags left over from a previous project, so I made a tea bath (note: loaf pans are the perfect size in which to dunk manila shipping tags) and pulled out the few charms I have, which happen to be mostly birds.

My initial idea was to use trims of bright color and design, but tea-dying the tags had given them a decidedly vintage feel, so I ended up using a palette of soft peach, pale orange, brown, cream and black.  The tags sat in my studio for awhile, feeling lonely and unfinished, until I found a Scrabble game at the thrift store.  After putting the letter tiles in my “alphabets” drawer, I realized the board itself would make a great substrate.  So I cut it in half and painted the back, which is a deep maroon color, with three coats of gesso.  Interestingly, the gesso never did completely obscure the underlying color, but the pale pink happened to work well with the tag colors.  So I overlaid a brown-inked stencil, edged the board with deco tape and glued on the tags.  The final touches were beaded trim and vintage seam binding for a hanger.

bird tag hanging

Don’t you love the shabby chic bird door knocker?  I found it at Hobby Lobby last year and just had to have it.  Dude warned me it would cover the peephole, but I don’t answer the door anyway, unless I’m expecting UPS or Fed-Ex with a package of books or art supplies.  🙂

There’s a new group on Swap-Bot called “Altered Art,” and one of their first swaps is for altered tags.  Quite a coincidence, since I had just finished the bird wall hanging when the swap was announced.  This time I colored the tag with chalk instead of tea, but the rest of it went pretty much as the others had – a bird charm, ribbons and trims.  Now I’m in the market for more bird charms!

blue bird tag sr

I have to tell the story of the blue sheet music.  It’s from a gigantic book by Reader’s Digest called The Easy Way to Play 100 Unforgettable Hits, which I found at the thrift store.  (According to the premise of this book, having the notes printed in various colors will somehow make it easier for the pianist to read music.)  So as I was walking around the store with this behemoth of a book, the clerk called out, “What have you found there, an atlas?”  Enthusiastically, I told her it was sheet music, which I love to tear out of books and use in my artwork, for backgrounds or embellishments, etc.  It was only when she started looking rather alarmed that I realized she had only asked to be polite and wasn’t prepared to hear the fate I had planned for the hapless book.  Oh, well – I’ve seen weirder types than me in that store, so she should be used to it.  😉

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One Response to “Tag Party”

  1. Terri Says:

    These are so fun. I love tags! (WHAT??? No crowns?? Did you run out??)

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