This is a unique challenge blog where we are inspired by and focus on the Vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres and encompass the talent, flair, expertise and ideas of many artists that we are inspired by. We welcome all types of projects - cards, journaling, assemblage, layouts, albums, atcs, altered art in fact whatever you want to share (as long as it is in good taste).

Friday, 24 March 2017

I can't wait to introduce you to ...........

Welcome everyone, I am so excited to be able to introduce you to the very lovely and amazing ...........

Eileen Hull.

Eileen agreed to be our AVJ Guest Creative Guide for March and it is such a pleasure to have her here. Without a do let's go see what Eileen has made for us all.


I was very honored to be asked to join A Vintage Journey for their birthday celebration. It’s always a treat to see what Brenda and her talented team creates! 

The Wild Roses Journal I made was a fun experiment. My friend Ann Butler has a line of iridescent paints with Earth Safe Finishes and I had been waiting for a chance to use them. I decided to make a book using my new Sizzix Journal die, being released any day now! This is already one of my favorite dies because it is a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your style on it.

I started by running the die through the machine with mat board twice- cutting two covers, latches, labels and tabs (I wound up only using the covers on this project). The Journal is a ScoreBoards die which means it is specially designed to cut and score thick material like matboard and chipboard- anything up to 1/16”. I love mat board because it is so sturdy and the smooth surface accepts inks, paints, and mists really well. 

I laid my two covers out and treated the surface of the mat board with Earth Safe Finishes Gel Medium. On top of that I dry brushed Lagoon and Limelight Iridescents on both sides of the covers. Off to a good start! Then I spread some Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste over a floral Prima stencil and let that dry.

While the covers were drying, I decided to make my 3D flowers. I used the Heart & Soul Flower, Spring Leaves and new Stitchy Flowers and cut stacks of them from crinoline, coffee filters and felt. I layered them and secured the centers with a brad. Then starting with the inside petals, I scrunched each one into the flower center until all were wadded up and looking quite unremarkable. Then for the fun- fluffing! Next thing I knew there were a bunch of nice fluffy flowers. I colored some of them with sprays I had made from my Clearsnap ColorBox Blends ink and left a couple just plain white. I also inked the leaves and set them aside. 

Next I added gold Deco Art Metallic Lustre Wax Finish on top of the Journal cover, using a piece of dry wall tape as a stencil. I dusted some gold metallic powder on top of the whole cover with a paintbrush to make it sparkle. (We found this gigantic jar when we were going through my mother-in-law’s house after she died. I have no idea what it was meant to be used for). 

Once the covers were dry, I glued the center tabs together to assemble the Journal cover, using binder clips to keep them together as they dried. (You could also stitch the spine together or use hot glue.)

I decided to add a twisted wire word, and since it’s spring, “bloom” seemed appropriate. I used my Sizzix Twist & Style tool to twist some soft aluminum wire into a perfect coil, them shaped the word to fit across the Journal. It was stapled to the front of the Journal with the Tiny Attacher. 

I glued some white cheesecloth down and then placed the flowers on the bottom of the Journal. 

Still needed some additional elements though… lately I have been finding mismatched vintage earrings and bracelets in thrift stores and adding them to my boxes and books. So I went to a jar of bling I had recently acquired and added a gold leaf pin. I noticed that a few rhinestones were missing- no matter… there were extra crystal beads in the jar too. I glued the crystals over the gaps and it looked fine. I also found a library file card for an artistic work called “Wild Roses”. It seemed to be the perfect addition along with two gold letter “r’s” (for roses!). 

My friend Jenny Marples had used some kraft packing paper to create inserts for a Journal she had made and I really liked how that looked. So thanks Jenny- I borrowed your idea :-) I crumpled a large sheet of brown kraft paper, smoothed it out and folded and cut the sheet into pages 8 1/2” x 8”. I folded the signature in half and sewed down the center on my sewing machine. 

Now it was time to add the gold metallic elastic to the book. I wove it from the inside of the cover through the top left hole, then through the top right hole, brought it down through the bottom right hole and through the bottom left hole, and formed a rectangle with the elastic. The elastic should be tied so there is enough tension to keep the inserts in the book but not so tight there is no give.

The pages have such a cool feel to them as you page through the book! I haven’t had time to write in it yet, but my plan is to gesso the pages and use them to practice my lettering in.

Thanks so much for letting me be part of your crafty community- Happy Birthday, A Vintage Journey! Best wishes for many more :-)


Wow What a fabulous journal Eileen with beautiful colours and embellishments, perfect as a practice book for your lettering. I think so many of us are looking forward to when the die for this journal will be available - hopefully very soon now. 
Thank you again for taking time out in your busy schedule to make this project we really appreciate it.

Look out everyone in your local stockists for the die being on the shelves or ready for you at your favourite on-line store. 


Don't forget our current 'All Aboard' challenge is still running and we've had lots of lovely entries - are you one of them?

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides. xxx

Monday, 20 March 2017

Destination Inspiration - Terminal 3

Hello everyone.  Alison here, arriving at Terminal 3 of Destination Inspiration.  Just to remind you, here are the contents of the travel bag for this month:
Substrate - canvas
Colour - teals/turquoises
Product - acrylic paint
Technique - layering stencils

And here's the 7 x 5 inch canvas board which I produced using those contents...

Generally, the projects which the Creative Guides come up with are all really different - amazingly so, given we're all working with the same basic contents - but this time there is some surprising overlap with one of my team-mates.

I was surprised and amused when I saw Julia's beautiful project last week.  In essence it's not anything like my project, but not only did we pick the same main stencil to work with (what are the chances, with so many to choose from?)...

... but there are also those three points of visual stimulation - small circles in dark brown.  Hers are buttons and mine are screw heads, but still!

I guess somewhere we were sharing a wavelength!  But back to the matter in hand.  I used some of Seth Apter's Wood Chips for this piece - the long, elegant frame and panel, layered to create dimension.

As you can see, the basic layout was simple, but then I went through a number of versions of the stencilled background before I was happy to continue.  Thankfully, there's still plenty of canvas texture even though I painted over it all multiple times!

I ended up liking the scumbled look on the right, to which I added some Broken China DI through Tim Holtz's Nordic stencil.  I clear embossed it in places for a touch of light-reflectivity.

Over that I layered Tando's mini clock stencil...

... and added some detail stamping with one of Andy Skinner's industrial stamps as well as some splatter, and finally I had a background I was happy to go ahead with!

After that it was all lots of fun.  I layered up plenty of paint on Seth's Wood Chips, some in his own Fresco paint colours, some not.

And I added some stamping too - more of Andy's stamps, some stamped in Aquamarine Archival and some in Snowflake Fresco paint.

There's some Rose Quartz Treasure Gold in there somewhere too, just adding a little glint to those fantastic rugged edges.

The frame and panel support the photo of the boy and his dog - for some reason it's often little boys who trigger the "Lost and Found" words for me... it's why I tried so hard to get that particular stencil into the mix originally, I think.  There's clearly some sort of connection in my brain.

But in the absence of the stencil, I found a great substitute in the form of the Idea-ology Quote Chips.  I've inked them and added just a touch of the Rose Quartz around the edges.

I really love this new way of adding words to projects - they have great presence and solidity, which gives the words weight and power within whatever you are making.

I added some extra stamping to the background with the same industrial stamp, but this time in Aquamarine Archival ink to echo the stamping on the Wood Chips.

I used some of the new Idea-ology Design Tapes to add background detail.

And the rusty wire around the Photobooth photo gives a grungy dimensional finale to the framing structures.

Then it was about final touches...  I added some turquoise glass crystals at various points around the frames.

They're from a certain Swedish furniture store, and I think they're actually intended to go in vases with dried flowers or something.  They catch the light beautifully.

The trio of screw heads (Calico Craft Parts lightly altered with some ink and Treasure Gold for a slightly metallic look) allow the eye to travel around the canvas spotting extra details.

So from a slightly sticky start, I ended up really enjoying myself with this, and shopping my stash too (those glass crystals have been awaiting an appearance for at least three years!).

Thanks so much for pausing with me at Destination Inspiration.  Another of the Creative Guides will be along next Monday so come and see what they create with their travel bag contents.

I hope you're inspired to come and play along in our birthday challenge this month.  Brenda's inviting us "All Aboard!" for an anything goes theme, and we'd love you to come and join us on the journey.  Happy crafting all!

Alison x 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Welcome To Our Pinworthy Guests

Hello everyone, it's the third Friday of the month and time to welcome our Pinworthy winners from December's Winter Magic challenge, Lisa Hoel of Creative Juice Fresh Squeezed and Georgie Connolly from the Little Blue Craft Box.  They have created wonderful projects for our All Aboard challenge this month to help us celebrate our third birthday here at A Vintage Journey, enjoy!


  Hello, my name is Lisa Hoel and I’m a lifelong craft lover. I’ve been ‘arting’ ever since I first picked up a crayon! Paper crafts have been my main focus for the past fifteen years or so and I love to make detailed, layered, textured, mixed-media type projects. I am not usually a clean and simple type artist. ;-) My background is in graphic design and I'm blessed to be married to the greatest guy in the world and have two dynamic boys. You can find me here:

I'm honored to be a guest here on the blog today and help A Vintage Journey to celebrate its 3rd birthday! With thoughts of an upcoming spring and parties in my head, I thought it would be appropriate to make a wee little fairy cottage in the woods. Maybe she's about ready to have guests over for a celebration... the welcome mat is out and everything is spick and span!

I altered a candle lantern to hold my little scene. The metal of the lantern itself I 'grunged up' with paint and crackle paste to make it look mossy and worn.

A little bird friend has made its nest up on the top! Do you believe in fairies? ;-) The ribbon is dyed seam binding and I made the nest out of spanish moss and small twings.

For guests that can't fly in, our fairy has a mushroom staircase leading up to the front door.  The house is made with several of Tim Holtz's Village Dwelling dies and roofed with Prima paper leaves dyed green.


Hi there!

I'm Georgie C, from LittleBlue blog. I live on the south coast of England in Dorset, with my hubs, little boy, three dogs and two rats - yep we're a handful ;) But wouldn't have it any other way! 

I love exploring and trying everything in our wonderful arty, crafty, creative world. From bold, contemporary and modern, to vintage/olde-world and shabby chic. However, I love colour most of all, it's always the part that grabs my attention in any project, it doesn't have to be completely 'out there', even the subtle flow of colours blending can be mesmerizing.

I'm so happy to be here today as a guest for A Vintage Journey, and for their birthday month I thought I step out of my normal comfort zones and try something a little different. Something I have wanted to try for ages - an assemblage piece using Tim Holtz Idea-ology.

This was so awesome to make, I loved going for a old, steampunk, another world-style mysterious pendant. The biggest trick was in the layering of pieces to get the word band level

I chose the word band 'expedition' to match the compass at the top, so it has the mark of a traveller about it, like it belonged to some explorer of olden times. The 'expedition', compass and spinner with brad were both given coats of paint from Ten Second Studio, with a spritz of the Patina spray to start the rusting and patina process. I absolutely love how natural this is and those colour that have come through, especially in the rust. Those patches of earthy greens, orange and yellow, so subtle but super cool and very authentic.

Here you can see what I mean about the layering. I used mini gears to help build up from the compass and the swivel clasp is a substitute for a pendant bail. I go in to more detail with the products and layers over on my blog. I finally finished up with touches of Archival, Jet Black ink.

I really hope you have enjoyed my post and a huge thank you to AVJ for having me here.


Wow, what fabulous projects, thank you so much Lisa and Georgie for joining us here at A Vintage Journey for our 3rd birthday celebrations!  And we hope that all of you will join us for our All Aboard Anything Goes challenge this month as well, we always love to see what you create.  Thank you again for stopping by today and be sure to come back on Monday for our next stop on our Destination Inspiration journey for March, see you then!


Monday, 13 March 2017

March Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal #2

Hello fellow A Vintage Journey travelers!   Julia here today welcoming you to Terminal #2 of our March Destination Inspiration  posts.  
This month we have the following supplies in our travel bags:
Product:  Acrylic Paint
Technique:  Layered Stencils
Color:  Turquoise and Teal
Substrate: Canvas
I didn't have a framed canvas hanging around in my craft room but I did have some Natural Sticky Back Canvas so I used that for my substrate.  
For my first layer of color, I rubbed Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink on my craft mat, spritzed with water and pressed the canvas panel into it.
For my second color I used one of my brandy-new Distress Oxide Inks - Broken China - again rubbing the ink onto my craft mat and pressing the canvas into it.
I let this dry and then randomly sponged over Tim's grid stencil using Distress Cracked Pistachio.
I used Tim's floral stencil with white acrylic paint for my second layer of stenciling. 
 (be sure to wash off your stencil right after using when you use paint!)  The canvas curls with the wet ink but lays flat once you adhere it to a piece of card.
While I let this dry -  I die cut Tim's Bird Branch and colored it with Oxide and Distress inks.
(I actually cut one out of white card stock and one out of a manila tag - and I show inking the white one but then ended up using the manila tag one on my card.)
First I pressed the branch part into Vintage Photo Distress Oxide that I had sponged on my mat and spritzed with water.
Then I colored the bird using the same technique with Distress Oxide Broken China - you can see I didn't try to completely cover the piece.  I let the colors drip and dried with my heat tool.
And finally, I inked some of the white spaces on tree and bird with Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink from the mat.
Once the paint was dry, I removed the backing from the canvas and adhered it to a slightly larger piece of kraft card.  I sponged the edges of the canvas and the bird with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide.  Then I layered the bird branch over the canvas with foam tape. 
I added Idea-ology Clippings Stickers and 3 tiny brown buttons from my stash.  I love the way the coloring on the branch looks like layers of bark with the different colors 
(totally unplanned but happily appreciated!)

I hope you have enjoyed seeing how I created something using the materials in our March Travel bag!  I'm really happy with how this came out - my first time trying the Distress Oxide Inks too!

Next Monday someone else will be arriving at Terminal #3 with another project using these supplies!   If you missed Terminal #1 - you'll find Astrid's beautiful project here.

I'd also like to invite you to join in the A Vintage Journey March Challenge - where we are celebrating our 3rd birthday!  You'll find the challenge and details here.