Scribbly Birds

Hello!  During a visit to a local craft store, I was inspired by a project they had on display.   There were 6 tags on a banner, each tag being stenciled with various colors and having a Dina Wakley Scribbly Bird as the focal point.  Each tag also had an inspirational verse and I decided to make something similar for my daughter…with my own spin, of course.  The colors stenciled on their tags were pretty subdued, but I wanted something bright and cheery to go along with those verses. Initially, I wasn’t sure how I would finish it – I didn’t want a banner, but what do do?  Luckily, I remembered buying a 12″ x 12″ tray, but did it have enough compartments…why yes, it did.
scribbly birds

I started out using Picket Fence Distress paint and stenciled something on each tag, then blended different colors for the backgrounds.  The remaining colors are all Tim Holtz Distress inks…there are layers and layers of ink on each tag.   I wanted the tags to have a common element, so I used my TCW Sweet Butterfly stencil and added those in pink and/or purple to each tag.   Other stencils used:

Tim Holtz layering:   Flourish, Gothic, Latticeworks, Lace

Clear Scraps Swirls, TCW Mini Cabbage Roses, TCW Viva La Art,  TCW Mini Harlequin and TCW Mini Gears.  I think that’s all I used!

When I was done with the stencils, I needed to tone down all that color.  I stamped text from  the Tim Holtz Visual Artistry, Purely Random set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  The other text stamp I used was Stampabilities Faded Text background stamp.  Then I wanted each bird to have something to stand on, so I used stamps from Tim Holtz Visual Artistry, Nature’s Elements.  These were also stamped with Memento’s Tuxedo Black.  

I colored my birds using my blending tool and Distress inks, then fussy cut them out.  Here they are before I started putting everything together:

Scribbly Bird tags

Here’s the one that got away:the one that got away

This was one of my practice tags and I really loved it.  I was going to keep it for another project since I decided not to die cut any of the other tags (though I thought it was pretty that way).  I wanted to seal all of the tags and had already tried multi-matte medium on another practice bird and all was good.  The next day I started sealing this tag…and forgot not to wet the brush.  Of course, everything was a blur after that because I had used Distress inks that react with water – DUH!!  Why, oh why, was I so dumb???  Sigh.

Next, I needed to figure out what I was going to put behind all of those busy tags in my painter’s tray.  I decided to use different colors of Shimmer Sheetz (from Elizabeth Craft Designs) with various embossing folders (Sizzix, Anna Griffin, Elizabeth Craft).  If you’ve never heard of them, look at these pretty colors:

shimmer sheetz

They look so cool embossed and you can sand them or use Staz-on to bring out the embossing.  I love the white iridescent ones above.

Next, I needed to decide what buttons to use in the tag holes.  Although I ended up with ones that reminded me of the doorknobs at my Grandmother’s house (that I loved as a child), I also considered these:different buttons

Here’s a close-up of the buttons I used and I added hot pink embroidery thread to the buttonholes:vintage button

I typed and printed all of the phrases for the tags, cut them and inked around the edges.  I added a key to the bottom middle compartment, but decided not to do any distressing to it or the tray…didn’t think my daughter would care for it too much.  Plus, I think the dark colors are a nice complement.  I didn’t add anything else except the pink bow at the top because it’s just so busy!

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave comments!

I would like to play along in the following challenges:

(my tray is a 12″ x 12″ square and the tags do look like they came from the 70’s!)

(there’s lots of color!)

(showcasing Ranger products – plenty of those in my project!)













13 thoughts on “Scribbly Birds

  1. Ok,Marty, now you’re talking my language! I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE your printer’s tray with all those sweet birdies! Your daughter is going to treasure this, and if she doesn’t I will send you my address! What an incredible work of art filled with love and creativity! Huge round of applause on this for all it’s color (Crazy for Color–spot on!) and lovely visually textured backgrounds! Did I say I love this???? I do!

    Thank you for taking your time to join our Crazy For Color challenge at Anything But Cute. hugs! Sara Emily DT (Love it!)


  2. Gorgeous, love the colors and texture is amazing. Wonderful, and the birds make me smile. Mine are all back this spring seen a few yesterday. Great job! Thanks for playing our challenge at 4 Crafty Chicks. Awesome!
    Leanne DT/4CC


  3. Wow, what a fantastic way to use the printers tray! I just love the colourful and cheerful backgrounds you created, the birds are all beautiful and the sentiments are brilliant! I also love the tag ‘that got away’ too, the die cut part is beautiful.

    Thanks so much for joining in our ‘Crazy for Colour’ challenge at Anything But Cute. Anne DT xx


  4. Wooow, what a brilliant project! I love your printer tray with all those fantastic tags! So colorful, so cheerful, so awesome! Absolutely amazing work!
    Thank you so much for joining in our Crazy For Colour challenge at Anything But Cute! Hugs! Branka DT x


  5. Oh Marty! You have been leaving me the sweetest comments for ages, but you don’t have a link to your blog in your Blogger account, so I could never find you. I actually thought you were another Marty using two different devices. Ha ha! So today I googled you and found your blog and then realize that you are a fabulous and wildly creative artist!!! Oh I could cry for missing out all this time, but am happier than an egg in a basket to have found you today! Big hugs and now I’m off to explore your creative world and become your newest follower. PS. Edit your Blogger profile to add a link here. ❤


    • Back again to say this project is rock and roll girl! The birds are such a pretty focal point. I love them to pieces on these wildly layered tags, how fun is this!?!? The shimmers in the background don’t quite show in the photo, but my imagination is busting with the thought! What a cool tray and great way to frame your amazing creations. I see that you are a tag lover and I am too! And those buttons, oh my heart sings for pretty buttons! We have a lot in common already. Oh I am so excited to have found you!!! 🙂


      • Please don’t think I’m crazy for leaving a third comment. Yesterday what I meant to say was your Google+ profile doesn’t link to your blog, but you can edit the profile and include a link. When I get a comment through Blogger the only way I can reach the commenter is through their link in Google+. Hope that makes sense. And to answer your question, yes I see that I can subscribe to your blog through WordPress on the “little blue button.” I just added a link into my Blogger feed reader b/c that’s how I stay connected. Too much tech garb for this early in the morning, I’m sure! ;0 Anyway, thanks so much for your sweet comment on my VERY BRIGHT card, sometimes it’s so fun to break out of the norm. Hugs!!! Autumn


  6. Brilliant take on the square theme with the square tray along with your vibrant colors and designs! Beautiful tags! Love the colors and designs! Fab take on the “Hip to Be Square” challenge at Frilly and Funkie!


  7. Hi, Marty – I’ve been out of the action for over a month, so just catching up….. and reading backwards, so hope I don’t repeat myself, lol! Love this – I have that same die for the upper part of the tag, and looking forward to using it one day, lol! Don’t berate yourself – we all do those things – just have to make another that will be equally beautiful, and then use a bit of Distress Micro Glaze, which will prevent the underlying Distress Inks from blurring/running! Love all of your sweet tags here and fabulous colors…. off to see what else I’ve missed! xxx Lynn Blogger is not playing nicely tonight with WordPress – but this is Lynn Price from!


  8. What a wonderful flock of artsy birds! Each tag is a little work of art, and I love your presentation in the tray! It’s like a visit to an art gallery! . Thanks for playing along with us at the Frilly & Funkie “Hip to Be Square” challenge,


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