Thursday, April 26, 2012

When the Circus Came to Town

"Back in the day" (which is how my children refer to anything before 2000), there didn't used to be colored television.  There didn't used to be colored photography either and if the circus train came to town, people came from far and wide to watch the parade of beautiful wagons and costumed folk.  

We went to Baraboo, Wisconsin to see the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum and the restored wagons literally took my breath away.  I can only imagine the pandemonium when those wagons pulled through the streets and children saw the colors and the phenomenal carvings and heard the Calliope playing!   I come from the generation that thought Silly Putty was the coolest thing ever so I know that what kids expect from entertainment now is a much higher standard.  But the circus coming to town had have been the highlight of childhood in the '30's and '40's,  like right up there with Christmas!
With the sites of the museum in mind, I created these tags.
Just like Elizabeth at teaches, I use the 'sandwich' method to layer the tag papers.  Start out with your pattern cut out of a cereal or lightweight cardboard box, layer scrapbook paper on the front and the back.  I usually date the back for tags I keep, I decorate ones that are going to be gifted.  The cereal box layer keeps the tags from bending when they are hung.
I carry the color scheme on to the next tag, see how the sheet music under the Ringmaster is on the border of the elephant's Show Time tag?  
All of the graphics were found in Mary Engelbreit's calendar, I save every graphic in file folders on my desk for future projects.  I even cut her page borders to use on my tags, I love polka dots!
I cut  my own trims because if I didn't I'd be in the poor house after a trip to Archivers! I love to garnish the paper crafts, I just can't afford to pay the piper!  
This one reminds me of the pony rides in the park when I was a little girl.  
Popcorn is a staple at our house, as in we must have bread, milk and popcorn!  I cut the popcorn bag out of scrap paper because this bear actually had his arm around something else that I had to cut out of the graphic.  The clown on the 'Say Cheese' tag had someone else in front of him too, I just hid half of him behind the curtain!


  1. These are great tags. When I was a kid and the circus came to town, the elephants would be paraded from the trains to the show venue. A lot of kids skipped school that day. Traffic would be messed up all day too.

  2. I'm taking in all the special details with each one of your tags. I love all the Engelbreit images. Your special touches are just perfect. Popcorn has been known to be a dinner at our house. Miss Josie would eat it 3 times a day if I let her.

  3. We all learn so much from Elizabeth and each one of her posts. I love to go over each one in case I missed any little detail. These are darling tags...smiles..>Renee

  4. Tammy, your creations are so colorful & detailed. I love them. Beautiful workmanship ...

    Have a wonderful day ~
    TTFN ~

  5. Such cute tags!!! I love the vintage circus!! I need to go over to Elizabeths' blog!! Thanks for sharing!! Have a great day!! xo Heather

  6. What a cutie! I loved it!
    Beautiful, beautiful ...
    Have a blessed night.

  7. Lovely tags! How fun is the circus!!


  8. I love your banner and I went to the circus the first time in the 40's and have never forgotten it. I still love watching movies about circuses I look them up on Netflix, there are some good documentary circus films on NF if you ever get a chance look into that. One I especially liked was about the Big Apple Circus. Nan

  9. Amazing banner!! I must confess, I am afraid of clowns!!!!! And I was afraid of them before I heard about the Stephen King book and no I didn't read that book either!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Here I am visiting your circus page one year later...future Shirley! LOL! I was reading your carousel post and saw the link to this one...I am in the midst of creating my summer circus. I have a carousel box made...similar to the one I made Dorothy in the supply swap...and another smaller box that will be a pedestal for something I haven't found or made yet. I've been working on a folding backdrop that I can also use with my Christmas circus. So I have been a bit crafty this week. Life is indeed a circus! =D


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