I made a lot of changes to Tim's design. Hope you enjoy them and can follow along. if you have any questions feel free to ask! sometimes I forget a change I've made.
I also got an iTouch for xmas (yes we celebrated early due to an upcoming deployment before the holidays) so I am trying out some step by step photos using it. the quality isn't as great but it should give you an idea what's going on. ;)
I started off with trying to find a good substitution. I had the same embossing folder but no stamp. I decided on embossing the upper part of the tag just as Tim did and then slicing open my music notes embossing folder (as Tim did on day 1 with the snowflake folder) and using that for the bottom of the tag. passing it through the sliced hole in the top of the music folder. (tip: if by chance your paper tears/cut when embossing it, just layer it onto another tag blank. it helps give tags with heavy embossing so strength anyway so I usually do this step even if I don't get any perforations from the folder.)
Once it was embossed I needed to color the raised images. I used the foam applicator and Ranger's wood handle to layer on the Distress ink. Try doing 2-3 light applications over the area and the color will build and deepen, looking more like the stamped images.
I have none of the Kraft-Core by Tim. So again, I used the Martha Stewart pearl paint (any paint would do though) and cut the images from Kraft cardstock. Painted the images and then sanded and inked as Tim suggested.
I layered the Festive Garland items onto the tag. Mine have had some UTEE added to the holly leaves. I also choose to paint the flourishes white. added two coats of UTEE and sprinkled gold German glass glitter into the still melted UTEE. (you can hit it again with the heat gun and let the glass glitter chunks sink into the enamel.
I added some gold trim and edged the tag with my favorite Krylon 18 Kt gold leafing pen. I've found so many uses for these paint pens. I am NEVER without them.
I used a collection of sequins and rhinestones from my stash for the berries. The alcohol ink trick does work though. my friends and I have been using it for everything from Dew Drops to flower stamens for a couple years. So give it a try if you like!
the small candy cane is another item I picked up at the craft store in the miniatures dept. some white craft wire and a red sharpie would yield similar results.
I wanted to give the letters a little more dimension and remembered a technique I started doing over the summer while trying to replicate gold foil embossed antique postcards. For this I use a Shakura Quickie Glue Pen and highlight the letters as shown in the example. Because this glue dries tacky you can take your time. once you have done a section dust with a soft gold embossing powder and shake excess off. melt enamel gently with your heat gun until it liquifies.
when finished it should look like this: