Despite the fact that I design and make projects every day I still sometimes suffer from creative block. If I’m working to a deadline that can be particularly stressful so I try to get my projects done ahead of time. When my creative mojo deserts me my goto solution is to simply walk away. This is what I did with today’s tag project. I’d made the tag and got the streamers. I had the die-cut “happy birthday” in Very Vanilla and Basic Black ready, but from there I was stumped. So I put the pieces on a shelf where I couldn’t miss them and started on something completely different. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that a little penguin came to the rescue.
TAG BASE FIRST
My tag began with a piece of Smoky Slate Card and a Smoky Slate ink pad. I scrunched up some Saran Wrap (cling film) into a loose wad in my hand and gently tapped it onto the ink pad. Then I lightly tapped it onto the card to create an abstract background. I repeated this process until the card was covered with ink. I should have realised then that this project wasn’t going to come easy. The background just wasn’t as interesting as I’d expected.
So I made another wad of Saran Wrap and went over the card with Highland Heather ink. This was much better. The background was still subtle but it was definitely more interesting.
With that done I chose the largest straight topped die from the Tailor Made Tags Dies. I cut out the tag from my prepared card and then cut some Basic Black Card using the small reinforcement die with the oval holes. Finally I fixed the reinforcement pieces to the back and front of the tag with Multipurpose Liquid Glue (Tombow).
Having chosen Highland Heather ink for the background design I found some scraps of Highland Heather Card next. Then I cut out two streamers using a die from the Birthday Chick Dies. While I was there I also cut out the “happy birthday” sentiment from the same die set. I couldn’t decide whether to use Very Vanilla or Basic Black Card so I cut one of each.
This is where my inspiration really began to desert me. I just couldn’t think what to do next. I tried cutting the Very Vanilla sentiment into two separate words, but that wasn’t any help. So I had to go back and die-cut another one. I used liquid glue to layer the Basic Black sentiment onto the Very Vanilla one and then gave up. The tag base, die-cut streamers and sentiment were relegated to my ‘try again later’ shelf.
It was much later as I was making a card using the Count On Me Stamp Set that I suddenly had an idea. That tag that I’d struggled with needed some cuteness and I was looking it! The sweet little penguin holding a balloon was perfect for my birthday gift tag!
So using Tuxedo Black ink I stamped the penguin onto a scrap of Thick Basic White Card. Then I coloured him in using a light Basic Black Stampin’ Blends alcohol marker, followed by dark Pumpkin Pie.
For the balloon I chose light and dark Bermuda Bay Stampin’ Blends. Then I added a highlight to the balloon with the Stampin’ Blends Colour Lifter. With that done I carefully cut out the penguin and his balloon using my Paper Snips.
Finally things were starting to make sense.
I picked up the die-cut streamers and added some definition using a light Highland Heather Stampin’ Blends marker. Then I fixed the streamers to the tag with liquid glue. The layered happy birthday sentiment came next towards the bottom of the tag.
It was when I held the fussy-cut penguin over the tag I knew I’d solved my creative dilemma. So I added a few Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals to the back and fixed him into place. All I had left to do was tie some black twine from the Baker’s Twine Essentials pack through the hole and my tag was complete.
You know it’s funny to think that something that was giving me so much stress at the start ended up making me smile. I suppose a penguin holding a balloon can do that.
What do you do when you get a creative block? Leave a comment below and share your favourite solution.