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, 9 December 2016

Cracking Up Winner and Pinworthies, and Guest Creative Guide

Hello all, and welcome to Winners' day!  Yes, it's time to announce the Winner and Pinworthy choices from November's Cracking Up challenge.  There were so many fantastic crackled projects - you all did a cracking job!  As always, you made our selection task very difficult, but it's a good kind of difficult... it's always a joy seeing what you all come up with.

But before we reveal the winners, we are delighted to have one of our former winners joining us on the journey as our Guest Creative Guide today.

Lisa of A Mermaid's Crafts was the randomly chosen winner back in September, and she's created some stunning Winter Magic for Deb's December challenge theme - you're going to love it.  Let's hand over to Lisa so that she can introduce herself...

Hi, everyone!! I'm so excited and honored to be a guest designer here at A Vintage Journey!! My name is Lisa from A Mermaid's Crafts and I've been blogging for almost six years. I live in Indiana in the Unites States and my day job is a writer. I've dabbled in several styles but my favorites are mixed media and shabby chic. I am in crafty Heaven when I can combine the two!!

I love Deb's theme of Winter Magic!! For several years, I lived in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and winters there were definitely magical (and covered in snow). I wanted to recreate that image of a wintry mountain town for my project. I started with a 6x6 canvas and covered it with Gesso. Next, I used a stencil and texture paste to add the snowflakes, covering them with a light wash of Bahama Blue.

The layers were cut in watercolor paper and covered with Gesso. I used stencils and texture paste for the mountains, village and snowdrifts. They were then covered with another coat of Gesso.

The trees were all covered with DecoArt Crackle Paste. Once they dried and the cracks appeared, I dabbed Brushed Pewter Distress Stain over the entire tree and then wiped away the excess so it remained in the cracks. The village and the moose were also dabbed with Brushed Pewter. I used DecoArt Snow Writer to create the dimensional snow, and while it was still wet, I covered it in crystal ice glitter for that freshly fallen snow look.

You can find more pictures and instructions on how I created the canvas my blog, A Mermaid's Crafts. Thank you so much to the extremely talented design team here at A Vintage Journey for allowing me to design with you today!!


What wonderful white-on-white crackle and texture in your dimensional canvas, Lisa.  Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful wintry project.

Now, without further ado,
let's reveal the November winner chosen by Random Generator.

That's #13, Cec of CW Card Creations with this lovely gilded canvas...

Congratulations, Cec!  Your winner's badge and prize voucher will be on their way to you shortly, and we hope you'll join us on the journey as a Guest Creative Guide in the future.


Now on to the Pinworthies, chosen by me and the Creative Guides here at A Vintage Journey.

#17 Sara Emily of Sara's Closet

#19 Lula of U Luli

#20 Irina of Scrap Hobby Mania

What great crackled projects, each so different, and well worth a visit to the individual blogs to see some of the close-up details.  Congratulations to all three of you!  Your Pinworthy badges will be on their way to you shortly, and we hope you will join us here as Guest Creative Guides in the future.


Thanks again to all of you for joining us on this Vintage Journey, and for sharing your amazing creativity.  We hope you're enjoying creating some Winter Magic for Deb's December challenge, and remember to stop off at Destination Inspiration with us on Mondays.  See you soon!

Happy travels!
Alison and the Creative Guides

Monday, 5 December 2016

Destination Inspiration December - Arriving at Terminal 1

Welcome to our December Destination Inspiration - Julia A here to hopefully inspire you with my project using the items in this months Travel Bag.
I feel like this month the train just may be the Polar Express!!

1.  Product - Lace
2.  Colour - Silver
3.  Substrate - Chip Board or Cardboard
4.  Technique - Heat Embossing

I created a little holiday decoration that could be on display throughout the winter months!
I have a few photos showing just how this was created.  First I die cut Tim's Prancing Deer out of white mat board.
Then I embossed him, front and back, using Aged Silver Frantage embossing powder - I love how vintage this thick powder looks!  It's a little tricky to heat as a lot of it blows off when you try to emboss it - I blow it from underneath at first to start it melting, then move in from the top starting at a high distance away!  
The embossing looks  gold in the photo but it is just the lighting on my worktable reflecting off it.
Next, I colored my bristle brush tree using Peeled Paint and Brushed Pewter Distress Spray Stains.  The sprayer had clogged on my Brushed Pewter (!) - so I just poured some on the paper and added it to the edges and wooden base of the tree with my finger! 
When I spray stain I put everything inside an old pizza box I keep under my work table!
Then I sprayed a slice of aspen tree trunk with the Peeled Paint Spray Stain.  We found a long piece of aspen tree that had fallen down along our local walking path - we took it home - and Kent sliced it up for me -  I heated the pieces in my oven at 200 degrees for an hour to help dry it out.
I die cut the PEACE from Tim's Holiday Words: Blocks out of brushed silver card, and folded over the bottom edge so I could glue it to the wood.
I added Idea-ology Mirrored Stars to the tree top, the antler of the deer and the PEACE panel and then glued everything to the wood with Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.  I just glued the feet of the deer to the wood and it has held wonderfully - it is also very close to the tree which also helps hold it up.
Here's a close up of the wonderful embossing, the lace knotted around his neck (the lace was just stiff enough to look like the wind is blowing it behind him!)  I also added a black rhinestone for his eye.
I hope you have been inspired by my little deer decoration -  please check back here next Monday to see who will be at Terminal 2 with another project using the contents of our December Travel bag!

Friday, 2 December 2016

December Challenge - Winter Magic

Hello and welcome, it's Deb here today and I am thrilled to be the host for this month's 'Winter Magic' challenge here at A Vintage Journey!

For us in the northern hemisphere December brings the start of winter and for many that means freezing cold weather and Christmas.  But winter is so much more than that and so we ask, how would you interpret the magic of winter?  Snow, icicles, colours of blue, silver and white, the festivities of Christmas, misty winter landscapes; show us what your magical focus is for the season!  As always, we ask that you follow our Traveling Instructions and that your project be created in a vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial or steampunk style.

Our generous sponsor this month is Country View Crafts

and they are offering a £20 voucher to their online store,, for our randomly chosen winner.  Thank you Country View Crafts!  The Creative Guides will also choose three Pinworthy winners who will receive a Pinworthy badge to display on their blogs, as well as an invitation to be a guest designer here at A Vintage Journey for one of our future challenges.

To get you started, the Creative Guides have created some wonderful projects to inspire you, enjoy!


 I decided to make a Christmas ornament for my Winter Magic project since one of the most magical things about the winter season for me is Christmas!  I used Eileen Hull's Embroidery Hoop die as a base and thus was able to adorn both sides with some of my favourite winter images and themes.  Hope you can stop by my blog to view the other side of my ornament and for some step by step photos of how I created it.

Addicted to Art - Tim Holtz Snowflake Duo and Mosaic Christmas Card
I have missed the last couple of challenges and it is good to be back! For Deb's theme I have used two Tim Holtz Bigz dies - Snowflake Duo and Mosaic - to create my blue and silver Christmas card. More details over at Addicted to Art - be lovely to see you there!

Having spent two Christmases in Australia, I had great fun creating this dreamy Winter Magic card. If you want to see some more detail and a short step by step, just click here.

For me the magical focus for the season is spending quality time with family and of course taking time to create those all important cards and decorations for family and friends. Pop by my BLOG for more details on how I created my card and glass decorations.

When I think Winter Magic - I think of snow covered trees in the meadow - so that's what I've shared today.  To add that vintage feel I've contained it all in a canning jar. I would love for you to stop by my blog here to find out more.

The start of the Christmas season for me is Advent Sunday when we write our Christmas lists by candlelight and make a Gingerbread House, so I've made a "not-Gingerbread House".  I used the Tim Holtz die and I gave it a wintry forest setting for that cosy feel, which is also such a magical part of winter for me... being wrapped up warm inside (with a tasty Gingerbread Latte!) whilst the winter weather takes hold in the outside world.  Come over to Words and Pictures for the full cosy effect and to see those rusty snowflakes in close-up.

For me the beauty of this season extends beyond the sparkling lights, trees and tinsel. The last traces of fallen leaves caught beneath a snow/frost laden carpet, and revelation of weather-beaten structures, unburdened by much of the usual floral and fauna, are as magical as any festive decorations. Find out how this came together and see the close ups on my blog.

As someone who just loves Christmas time this theme conjured up memories of snow and in particular very cold and frosty mornings. As a child I remember Jack Frost making the most beautiful patterns on the window of our bedroom, something not many people see nowadays with central heating in most homes. I also love snow globes and the magic of the glitter dancing within the so pretty xx
To view the details of this make please go to my blog HERE xx

For my Winter Magic project I decided to make a small decoration to join some of the others which sit on our mantelpiece over the Christmas period. I cut a base and a die cut fence from greyboard and went mad with the crackle! Do join me over on my blog if you would like to see some more details.

Snow always comes to mind when I think of  'Winter Magic' so for Debs Challenge I have a canvas to share with a snowy feel created with an arty, wintry spirit . Please feel free to stop  by my blog for more details.

I love bright, cold, frosty days and snow covered landscapes in the middle of winter and that's what came to mind when I was thinking of a project to do for Deb's challenge. I decided to use one of my picture frames from Tando Creative and also found one of the beach huts that didn't get used in the summer so I decided to utilise it for a winter scene. There are more photos and details at Bumblebees and Butterflies if you fancy a hop over.


Wonderful and magical creations from the Creative Guides, don't you agree?!  And now that you have been inspired, we hope that you will create your own 'Winter Magic' projects and join in our December challenge.  You have until Thursday, January 5th to enter and we can't wait to see what you link up, happy creating!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Destination Inspiration Arriving at Terminal 4

Hello all, lovely to have you visiting A Vintage Journey today. This is Astrid to share with you the last of the Destination Inspiration projects for November
Here is a little reminder of what we have in our travel bags this month:
Product: Patterned Paper
Technique: Altered Paper Techniques
Colour: Orange/Rust
Substrate: Notebook or Journal Cover
I decided to create a little mini journal using the Eileen Hull minibook die. I used it for both my cover and the inside pages, but will just show you the cover for today.
I started by covering a piece of mat board (or mount board as we call it in the UK) with my chosen paper and cut it with the die.
I covered the entire piece with clear gesso and when that was dry took a deep breath and started to spray on colour with a mix of Rusty Hinge Distress Spray and a copper coloured Lindy's Stampgang Spray. When still wet I sprinkled on some Infusions in the colour Sunburst. This was hard, as orange is not normally a colour I go to, so I knew at this point already, some rusty stuff would have to come into play too.
I chose some metal embellishments and covered them in white gesso. I rather liked the frosty white colour on my branches and leaves, so it was at this point I decided to call my journal "Transitions", as I wanted to depict the transition from autumn into winter, a theme that easily can be carried through for the inside pages too.
So instead of making them all rusty, I just used the same sprays on them and I rather like the effect.....
Still, it needed something to tone it all down a bit, so this flower came to the rescue. I made it using Clearly for Art and the Tim Holtz Poinsettia die. I glued some tissue wrap to one side of the Clearly for Art, die cut it and then added some colour using some Alcohol Inks in a mix of Espresso and Gold Mixative. When heated the Clearly for Art becomes pliable, so it was easy to shape the flower. I added some very dark red berries from my stash, using hot glue, and while the glue was still liquid very quickly sprinkled on some Antique Platinum glitter.
To add a bit more texture to it all, I dyed some cheese cloth, again using my Distress Sprays, I also added some Prima Art Stones, and darkened everything with a little carefully sprayed Ground Espresso spray. The word Transitions was computer generated.
A few splatters with watered down white paint finished it all off.

Now I did want to add a bit of something rusty as well still, so decided to alter this little die cut angel for the back cover.
The angel was cut from mat board again. I coloured it with Rusty Hinge spray and then rusted it with good old Crafty Notions rusting powder. When the rust had formed I highlighted some bits with Copper Treasure Gold.
Here you can see it on the back cover. The album closes with the little tab that comes with the die. I glued it to the back and for the front used some velcro dots.

Finally here is one of the inside pages still
You'll be able to see further pages on my own blog in the weeks to come.

Well that's it for today, but before I end, here is a second look at the superb projects my team mates created for the previous DIs this month:

Well, there you have it, 4 very different projects, all using the same basic ingredients.... Here's hoping we have given you some inspiration this month, and don't forget to come back on Friday for the beginning of our new challenge.

Looking forward to seeing you then and thank you for your visit,

Friday, 25 November 2016

Friday's Guest is ................

Hi Everyone, it's Friday and special guest day and we have the lovely lady who is sponsoring our challenge this month with a decorated version of the kit she is offering as the winning prize, it shows you how it can look once painted and altered. I'll leave it up to her to introduce herself.


Hi I'm Di Oliver and I co-own Tando Creative Limited with my husband Tony.  I was so excited to be asked to be a guest designer on A Vintage Journey, I rarely craft these days and it gave me an ideal opportunity to sit down and get painty.

We have recently released a new Art Journal Starter Kit which includes all the elements needed to sew your own journal together so it is truly handmade.  I decided to put together one of these kits myself and I had loads of fun decorating the covers.

I have used supplies from the DecoArt media line, firstly using the crackle paste liberally through a stencil over the cover and also just applying with a palette knife around the edges.  The Crackle Paste gives really lovely deep crackles if it is applied thickly.

For the spine covering I glued screwed up tissue paper and left it all to dry.

Using a combination of Prussian Blue Hue, Primary Magenta and Burnt Umber I applied various washes to the covers.  I then decorated one of the Tando grids and a word Create by simply painting white and stamping with a crackle stamp.  I then applied washes to the Butterfly and stamped with a brown archival ink pad.

I finished off with ribbons and glued the journal together.


Wow Di, that looks so special with all the texture and embellishing, I'm sure our lucky winner this month will be over the moon with their prize and it's great to see some wonderful inspiration for them in your post. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous journal and taking time out of your extremely busy schedule to create this for us, I know it's been a very hectic few months for you.

For those of you who do not know Di or Tando Creative she produces the amazing substrates from greyboard and MDF which are all available on her website (see link above), if you're looking for project substrates or embellishments her shop is well worth a visit and we are so lucky that she is sponsoring us this month.


So I'm sure this beauty will inspire you to getting 'cracking' and enter a project for the challenge that the fabulous Alison is hosting this month and if you're one of the gorgeous entries already submitted thanks so much for joining us.

Have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda, Di and the Creative Guides. xxx

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal 3

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by, it's Deb here today with the third stop on our Destination Inspiration journey for November.  If you recall our travel bags are packed with the following contents:

Product: Patterned Paper
Technique: Altered Paper Techniques
Colour: Orange/Rust
Substrate: Notebook or Journal Cover

and you can check out what Tracy and Alison already created for us this month by clicking here and here.

For my Destination Inspiration project I decided to make a cover for my current art journal.  I had to deconstruct my journal as it was getting very chunky and I needed a cover so I could bind the completed pages back together again.

I added a secret interactive element to my journal cover as well, the butterfly lifts up to reveal the completed sentiment that I wrote.

I started out with a piece of corrugated cardboard packaging cut slightly larger than my art journal pages.  I tore a bit of the backing paper off of one side to reveal the corrugations below for some texture (and my apologies for the glare in these photos!).

To incorporate the patterned paper and altered paper technique, I took some Tim Holtz papers and Melange tissue wrap and coated them with resin, sprinkling on some Distress Glitter as it dried.  The brown paper at the top of the photo was the unbleached paper towel that I used to clean up and I loved it's translucency so decided to use it as well.  I had some extra resin left over so filled a couple of jewelry bezels with seed beads and resin to be used on some future project.

The corrugated cardboard cover was painted with gesso and then dragged through a puddle of Rusty Hinge and Antique Linen Distress stains on my craft sheet to satisfy the orange/rust colour component of the travel bag.

A variety of patterned papers were then torn into pieces and adhered here and there onto the journal cover.

I loved that wonderful resin butterfly image and decided to frame it with some copper wire.  I then started to contemplate how I could make it into an interactive component that could be moved or opened to reveal a secret.  Could I make a wire hinge that would allow the framed butterfly to be lifted up?  Well, yes I could!  I cut two short lengths of copper wire and curled them around a bamboo skewer.

I then twisted more wire together to make a frame for the resin butterfly image and attached one of the curled hinges to the frame.  The other curled hinge was meshed together with the hinge on the frame and short piece of copper wire was threaded down the center of the two hinges to join them together.

The resin butterfly was then adhered onto the copper frame with E6000 glue and set aside to dry thoroughly.  Once dry, the assembly was adhered to the journal cover and the hinge covered up with some strips of patterned paper.

More texture was added to the journal cover by applying some Wendy Vecchi Crackled texture paste here and there through Tim Holtz's mini layering stencils Burlap and Nordic.

The texture paste was coloured with Distress crayon in Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo once dry and then the cover was stamped randomly with Vintage Photo Archival ink and stamps from Tim Holtz's MM101 Clear Stamp set.

The translucent resin paper towel reminded me of amber glass and to enhance that illusion, I coloured it with some Butterscotch alcohol ink, adding and subtracting the ink with Alcohol Blending solution.

And then in my usual style, I got on a roll and forgot to take any more in process pictures, apologies yet again!  Three small frames were die cut with Tim Holtz's Stitched Rectangle die from kraft cardstock, the centers were cut out and the faux amber glass paper was sandwiched in between to make a window.  The word 'seek' was stamped onto tissue paper and adhered to the journal cover and the faux amber glass window was positioned over top.

I wrote the word 'an' on tissue paper with a Zig brush marker and adhered it with Distress Matte collage medium.  My brush lettering skills are suspect at best and I was worried I'd muck it up if I tried to write it directly onto the cover.

'Art Full' was printed out onto copy paper (the font is called Old Printing Press), the edges were torn around the sentiment and it was adhered underneath the resin butterfly interactive element.  Some wildflowers were stamped onto tissue paper and adhered with matte medium here and there on the cover.

And to complete the sentiment, 'Life' was stamped onto tissue paper with Tim Holtz's Worn Text stamp set and adhered to the bottom of the journal cover.  The edges of the cover were coloured with Walnut Stain Distress paint, some glue stick was lightly applied over top of the dried paint and gold Deco Foil was pressed into the wet glue for a random gilded edging to the journal cover.

And finally, a small manila tag was clear embossed with this great stamp from Tim Holtz's Phrases 2 Clear Stamp set, the tag coloured with Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso Distress inks and then fastened in place with a Custom Fastener.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope that you have enjoyed seeing how I used the contents of our November Destination Inspiration travel bag.  We have one more stop in our journey this month so be sure to stop by next Monday when Astrid will be here to bring our travels to a close.  And there is still time for you to join in our Cracked Up November challenge so break out those crackle mediums, stencils and stamps and get cracking!  Happy creating,

Deb xo