Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Homemaker Tag Along

I love swaps.
I love swaps involving tags.
I love swaps involving tags hosted by Elizabeth of Creative Breathing.
I have made 76 tags to date as part of tag swaps with Elizabeth's (Creative Breating Crafters) group. (after this swap: 100 tags)
This is my 6th tag swap with Elizabeth's (Creative Breathing Crafters)group. (I also participated in a Block Swap 2 years ago)

January, 2011.  Happy Homemaker Tag Swap

* A year of per month, made for a partner to be named at the end of the year
* Choose a theme (anything you want) for your tags.
* You can only use one pad of paper for the whole year (and coordinating embellishments) or 5, 12x12-
    inch sheets of cardstock/paper and embellishments.
* Make 2 tags per month (one for you and one for your partner) following your theme.
* Tags should be 3X6-inches, constructed using the "sandwich" method...2 layers of cardstock/paper with  
    a  layer of lightweight cardboard in between.

I thought this would be simple. Happy Homemaker would be my theme...I would use vintage housewife images and make them kind of sassy like the greeting cards I make.
No, I didn't like that idea. Then I thought I would do a year of tags honoring friendship. Nope, threw that one out the window, too! I want something that will be fun all year...colorful...a theme that I love, but different than what I'm used to doing. Can't decide, can't decide! I know...I'll get a committee together and they'll help with my decision.

The Committee

After many conversations about theme and papers...we've arrived at a plan!

The Theme

PAPER DOLLS! I love paper dolls! A year of paper doll tags. I started looking on Flickr and other one-line sources for just the right paper doll images. Tried some out...couldn't find what I was looking for....and the committee didn't approve these either.

 Then I remembered that I have every issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine since the first one in 1996. (Oh how I miss that magazine!) Every issue had paper dolls and most of them were of my very favorite character of Mary's...Ann alter ego! Viola!
Would the committee like this idea?

They loved the idea!!

 In homage to Mary Englebreit and in celebration of Ann Estelle...I have chosen "It's a Banner Year Ann Estelle" as my theme. A paper doll tag that is can play with her and change her clothes. I'll have fun making the tags and my partner and I will both have paper doll sets at the end. I'm almost 62 years old and I still love paper dolls!!!

Let's Get Started!

The Supplies

I went through all of the pages and pages of paper dolls and selected the dolls, sized them to 83% of the original print and printed them on white cardstock from PaperTrey Ink. I mention this because the cardstock from this company is of the highest quality and prints out beautifully and also takes stamped images perfectly. They list the paper weight as 110-pound, but it feels heavier than the 110-pound weight paper I purchase at Sam's Club. Here is a link to Paper Trey's cardstock.
The clothes are printed on high quality 28-pound paper
Speaking of the clothes...there are so many to choose from so I think some months will have more than one choice. The committee says "The more the merrier Mary-ier!"

Lots of people would look at this stack of empty boxes and think they were on the way to the trash can or the recycling bin....but not the Creative Breathing Crafters!

These cardboard boxes will be cut and used for the "sandwich" layer of the tags. You know that I only eat pizza and snacks for the boxes, right?
The Papers
The paper pack I chose is from Memory Box. It is an older line as I promised myself that I wouldn't purchase anything new for this swap....I have a paper hoarding collecting  problem. The papers are 6x6-inches and they are double-sided giving me lots of options. All of the prints are tiny so I think they'll work well with the scale of the clothes and the doll.

I will also be using some plain colored cardstock to fill in.

The January Tag

OK, I have to admit that I'm still working out the kinks on this first tag...the committee and I have had some, um, artistic differences. It's coming along and I hope to add the finished tag to this post by this evening. I just didn't want to miss the chance to at least link up to Elizabeth's is the last day for Tag 1.
I have been visiting the other Creative Breathing Crafters who have already linked their tags to Elizabeth here and I must say that I am overwhelmed and over-joyed at everyone's work. I see there are some friends (Linda and Linda and  Nancy) I've swapped with before  from A Swap For All Seasons; lots of girls I've swapped with in the Creative Breathing Crafters Group and also a number of new artists. Hooray for all of you...I'm enjoying getting to meet you!
7:50PM....the tag is finished! Thank you for being patient!

It's January, and in a week I will celebrate my 62nd Birthday.
 I think it's Ann Estelle's birthday, she's having a Birthday Pajama Party. She's inviting her friends to stay overnight...drink hot cocoa and eat birthday cupcakes and the next morning...go ice skating. Consider yourself invited...we'd love to have you come and join the party.

Ann Estelle's dresser where she keeps all of her cute outfits.
I hope you're warm and cozy wherever you are tonight. The snow has been coming down and blowing around all day. A perfect day to craft!

Next week, I'll tell you about a  giveaway to celebrate my Birthday.


Jane said...

Oh, my gosh,Joyce, what a cute post and such a wonderful idea! I love paper dolls and I love Mary Engelbreit and I really love her paper dolls!!! I have all but one year, I think, of the Home Companions. Still enjoy looking through them. Time to get out all the February issues now!

Will look forward to your Happy Homemaker tags each month this year!

Valerie said...

Oh thank you so much for sharing each and every last detail about your theme. Isn't it fun? I said to myself......Why didn't I think of that?....I look forward to your tags. And by the way............HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Betty said...

Oh Yay! I was wondering if your were going to do this one! I can't wait to see your tags. I love Mary E and her paper dolls. I'll be back tonight to see the completed tag!!

LaVerne said...

Joyce, Such clever ideas...You and the committee have really devised a wonderful plan to "use what's on hand"...I too have all my old copies of ME and have removed all the paperdolls for crafting purposes...Your tags will be worth the wait if today's post is even a hint of things to come. Thanks for the kind words on my tag.

Jenny's Heart said...

I wish I had half the creativity you and Elizabeth do, what a great idea! I can't wait to see.

NanE said...

patiently tapping my fingers
Oh, Sorry, LOL, I just can't wait to see your tag! What a brilliant idea. Paper dolls, Mary Englebriet, what could be better! By the way, this is my Birthday month too! xxoo Nan
PS, AACK! What happened to our Pens the other night?!!!

Sunny Simple Life said...

Can't wait to see what you make.

Heidi said...

Oh're killing me here! (kidding, of course!)... I just want to CRAWL through this computer screen and end up there with you to play with PAPER DOLLS! This is just delightful! I have every ME magazine issue and I've guarded the paper dolls with my life! So this is a wonderful idea, to copy and resize them to play with (with my granddaughter) and/or for crafting.

Your "design team" did fantastic! Love "their" choise! I can't wait to see all your creations! just brings my childhood back to me...the paper dolls in my mom's magazines (McCalls, right??)
Hugs and enjoy, you're are going to have a blast for sure! ~Heidi

Pam @ Frippery said...

Holy cow, I love Ann Estelle, what a fantastic idea!!!! I can't wait to see your tags. I am glad your too cute committee approves. I have every issue of Home Companion. Now I want to think of something to do with all my paper dolls!

marie said...

Awesome post Joyce...and what a great idea for your tags! Paper dolls are perfect. Your partner will be thrilled. You and "the committee" are so very clever!

Yea you...imagine forcing yourself to eat snacks so you can save up all that great cardboard.

I am so looking forward to seeing all you create this year!!

Linda Ruthie said...

A very fun read, an inspired theme and an adorable tag. You are a gem!

Anonymous said...

This is so clever. I am in love with the little dresser and the party invitation written out...genius. How lucky I am to be joining you ladies for the ride! Oh, I just scrolled back up for another peek...I heart that pink banner.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is totally adorable, Joyce! And I love your committee, too! Thanks for coming by and entering my giveaway~ good luck!


Such talent!! Your ME tag is darling!!! What a wonderful idea!
Love Birthday parties!

Betty said...

Oh!!! Cute, cute, cute! I love the little dresser and the banner too!

Hearts Turned said...

Oh, Joyce! This was sheer magic! Loved reading about your process--and what a perfectly perfect Committee you have!

Love your choice for your theme--how wonderful! I sure miss those ME magazines, sad!

Thank-you so much for your sweet visit today, and for your very thoughtful're always so sweet to me!

Hoping you're having a wonderful night, dear friend!


Tamera's Craft Palace said...

What an ADORABLE idea--your tag is too cute!! I love the little buttons for the drawer pulls!!

Jane said...

What a fun swap! You put a lot of thought into your theme and I think you came up with a wonderful idea! Loved your first tag and look forward to seeing one every month.

Unknown said...

That is the sweetest swap and your Jan. tag is adorable!!! I'll be back with birthday wishes :) Sandy oxx

Margie said...

Oh, I'm in love with this idea!!! I, too, have all the issues of ME's magazine! It was hands down THE BEST magazine there ever was and I miss it sooooo much! Ann Estelle is so adorable, oh, I envy the lucky recipient of your tags ... she gets to play with all the paper dolls! I absolutely can't wait to see the next one! Love the buttons for the drawer knobs!

NanE said...

Joyce, this was worth the wait beyond words! Oh my gosh, all the sweet little details, from the dresser with the button drawer knobs, the little banner, the teeny, tiny invitation, it is all so perfect! Add me to the list of those who has ALL the ME paper dolls! I can't wait to see your next tag. Hugs and blessings, Nan

Unknown said...

Joyce, I have goosebumps up and down my arms! My Ann Estelle paper mentor, you never cease to amaze me with your detailed creative perfection. How cute are these! I already can't wait until next month! I can imagine a little child begging to play with these tags. Nancy will be THRILLED! I can't thank you enough Joyce for lending your talent to help make this the best tag swap ever. (PS I am a little embarrassed I have coerced 100 tags out of you!) I am so glad there is you! Elizabeth

mimi said...

WOW Joyce these are the cutest little tags ever!!! What a wonderfully, clever idea!! I know your tag swap partner is just going to love these. Oh yes my friend you are one talented lady:) I am so glad I have you as part of my committee to ask advice with my projects...

CHERI said...

You are one talented lady. These are going to be sooo cute! Wish I was a tag lady but I'm not that creative or talented! I do have a question: what does everyone do with all their tags that they collect? Just curious!

Debbie Doughty said...

Oh Joyce! Your post and tag are amazing! I love ME and have all the paper dolls too-hoping that someday I will have a granddaughter to go with them. So far I have THREE grandsons, lol.

@ Cheri, I think I may use mine on cards or to embellish scrapbook pages.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

OK, so, were we twins separated at birth? No 62nd isn't until October..hmm..well then, we must be kindred spirits..I **LOVE** what you do..and your blog..and, although I haven't ever participated in "swaps" I am totally intrigued.! I could seriously wallpaper my art room with them. Anyway, I'm gunna take a look around..I've already spotted some amazingly handsome grandboys, yes? Way. to. go. Grandma!

Anyway, thanks for dropping by my place on Main Street and come back & see me know, y'hear?!

Suz said...

What a wonderful idea and great explanation. You are fabulous at tutorials. My favorite thing, though, is your tag. I love the paper you have chosen and love paper dolls, especially ME and the Joan Walsh Anglund, of which I have about five. I wish I had the energy to do this right now but, hopefully, there will be a time.
P.S. The committee is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Oh - I just love these tags! Because I am a MAJOR ANN E FAN! I have so many Ann Estelle dolls. She is just sooooo cute. I had thought of doing a M.E. tag, too - but settled on Bluebirds. Can I join you and make Ann tags too - just follow along? So cute!

My Vintage Mending said...

Happy Birthday month to you! How cute is she! I love the dresser...brilliant. PJ party...perfect. My wheels are spinning already for February. You are all so talented. Thanks so much for sharing.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Oh my gosh, Joyce, how I loved my paperdolls when I was a kid! Even now I always stop and look when I see some for sale online or in a store.

I think you and the committee made a wonderful choice for theme! I love this first tag and all you've added to it. I will look forward to seeing the others you create!

Nancy said...

Sooo adorable! Really, really, really adorable! and clever, too, not that I expected anything less than brilliant! Uhh - FYI...I'm almost 62 (63 is almost 62), I love paperdolls IN particular Ann Estelle, I have every Mary E magazine....I'm just sayin'...ahem...when they're passing out partners I'm totally available. LOL Love the tags - they are wonderful. Also...your table for your luncheon is gorgeous and yes, I'm available next year. Where did you get the napkins - they are wonderful! Looking forward to seeing what Ann Estelle is up to in February - isn't this just the most fun project. Kudos to the committee!!!:) xoxo Nancy

Linda said...

Joyce...this is such a delightful theme and your tag is just wonderful. I can't wait to see your next one!

Marta said...

Dear Joyce,
I'm a collector of paperdolls. I invite you to visit You will find them by clicking on {muñecas recortables} on my sidebar. If you like some, you can borrow them mentioning the source.
Hugs & Besos ;O)

Secondhand Blessings said...

Dear Joyce;
I just ran across you blog. What a delight! I love the little homemaker tag. Did you make it?
I enjoy scrapbooking and cardmaking myself.
I hope you don't mind but I added your site to my blog.It inspires me!

Secondhand Blessings said...

Dear Joyce;
I just ran across your blog; what a delight. I really like the little homemaker tag. Did you make it?
I look forward to checking our your post. What an inspiration.


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