Saturday, March 6, 2010

In a recent issue of Somerset Studio, one of the letters to the editor set me off! (I know it's dorky, but I always read the letters to the editor, and the prologue to books, and the acknowledgements). Anyway, this person wrote in to say how she'd "outgrown" the publication and felt what she does is art, and what people are submitting to the magazine is (tisk-tisk) "crafts". Clearly there was a judgement implied : art = good; crafts = not so good. Anyone familiar with Somerset knows that this magazine showcases fantastically creative artists. Of course there are many different styles and not everything in the magazine appeals to everyone, but really, is it necessary to be so petty? I'm reminded of the saying, "Some people need to chop down the trees around them in order to make theirs look taller".

Trying to shake off this annoying issue, I've been thinking about why some styles speak to us and some don't, and why our preferences can change over time. While I love the "no success like excess" style of Tim Holtz and have shared some tags based on his work, I am also curiously drawn to the minimalist style of Jenny Doh. I love her simple, uncluttered look, clearly a "less is more" approach. I like to think that as we grow and have new experiences, our tastes change. That doesn't mean what we liked before is suddenly bad, it just means that we've opened up to something different. Life would be mighty boring if we didn't keep changing and growing, both as "artists" and as people.
In the spirit of experimentation , here are some tags I made in a more minimalist style. I love the background "grunge" stamps from Glitz It Up ! I punched out the little hearts and made the circles with the top of an acrylic paint bottle. The "stitches" are a stamp from Clearly Impressed- a whole lot easier that sewing! I trimmed the bottom of the tags with the Victorian blade for my Fiskars paper trimmer ( a great gift from my son). This is the first time I've used a decorative blade and I may become addicted.
Then, back to more complicated tags. I love this acrylic paint resist technique. I used a white paint dauber on the swirl stamp, then some text, Distress inks and a swirl or two. The large tags were a learning experience - in my enthusiasm I got ink all over the backs of the tags - grrrr! Think I may glue them back to back and hang them from something. Lesson learned - the backs of the small tags are pristine!

There, I think I've banished the evil humors with this pile of tags.


  1. OOOH They are all beautiful. I think what you call plain is very elegant. Sometimes less is more. I love them all!

  2. Your tags are great. I also ink with gusto and end up with ink on the other side. Thus I just continue with the ink. Tags are a lot of fun to play with.

  3. Wow they're all so great - now to find my tags to play with too! TFS
    Helen -- Firenze Cards

  4. Oh, and really? "Tsk tsk crafts"? When last did that person actually look at the contents of Somerset Studio? Some mothers' children... should have been taught better manners!
    Helen -- Firenze Cards

  5. Helen, I couldn't agree more! Bad manners, bad, bad, very bad!!


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