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, 20 November 2020

Pairs Trios and Sets Tutorial

 Hi everybody! As promised I'm back with a tutorial showing how I made my shaker decorations, for our latest challenge, Pairs Trios and Sets. Lets get started....

I started off with these domed frames I bought from a craft show bargain bin several years ago. There were 5 in the pack and I've lost count of the number of times I've picked them up, looked at the, waited for inspiration to strike  and then put them away for another day. Luckily for me, this time inspiration was not far away! 
I used some lovely papers by Tim Holtz, from last year's Christmas release. Firstly, I cut out an oval shape, just a little bigger than the outer frame. I adhered this to the surface, and used a craft knife to cut away the centre. I then used a sanding block to remove the paper from around the outside edge.......
Sanding the inside edge of the oval was a little more tricky, to do this, I wrapped a piece of sand paper around a pencil. This made it much more easy to remove the surplus paper. Once this was done, I blended a little Vintage Photo Distress Ink around both the inside and outside edges of the frame. I then followed the same procedure for the other two frames, using different but similar papers from the pack.
 I covered the centre of the base of each frame, with an oval piece of paper, slightly larger than the open frame. I also drew around the inside of the frame to help with the placement of the elements that go inside the dome. 
I cut several pieces of foliage, using these Tim Holtz dies and some Craft Core paper. I dotted a little white paint on the surface to suggest snow.
I added a little colour to the Paper Dolls using my Distress Markers, as well as dimensional tape to the backs. It was then time to assemble the elements.....
I firstly adhered the background foliage die cuts and then the slightly raised Paper Dolls. Next I secured the acrylic dome using strong clear glue. I left about 1 1/2 inches unglued at the top so that I could add the 'snow'. Once the glue was dry, I gently lifted the open part and spooned in the glitter.....
 I used three different types of glitter, Diamond Dust which is slightly heavier and more like glass glitter, I also used some very fine holographic glitter, as well as a sprinkling of tiny glitter stars. 
I then secured the opening at the top of the dome with a little more clear glue, and attached the outer frame. The finishing touches, were to add an arrangement of die cut foliage with some tiny pine cones, and a little die cut paper bow. 

This was a most enjoyable project to make. I have one more dome left which I think I will use to make another shaker decoration, and this time, I shall use pictures of my own dearly departed ancestors. 
I have enjoyed seeing the wonderful projects you have uploaded for our Pairs Trios and Sets Challenge. If you haven't had chance to join in yet, don't worry as you have until 18:00hrs on December 3rd. Plenty of time ! x 

Friday, 13 November 2020

Numbers Pinworthies


Hi everyone, 
Annie here to announce our Pinworthy winners for October's 
"Numbers" Challenge Theme. As usual we had many fabulous entries and we want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to hop on board with us. It is so hard to narrow our winners down to just three, but after due consideration, these are the entries the creative guides have chosen in no particular order:


Congratulations to you all! 
I will be in touch shortly with your Pinworthy badges and Amanda will be pinning your winning projects to our Pinworthy Winners Pinterest board 
We hope you will join in with our current challenge Pairs, Trios & Sets hosted by my very talented teamie Toni. 
Toni will be sharing the tutorial for her own challenge project next Friday so I hope you can drop in then. Meanwhile the current challenge details and an inspirational gallery of projects created by some of our  uber talented Creative Guides can be located HERE
Have a lovely weekend and keep safe
Annie xx

Friday, 6 November 2020

Pairs, Trios and Sets

Hi everybody ! It's Toni here and I'm delighted to host our November challenge. The theme this month is 'Pairs, Trios and Sets'.  We would like you to create a set that works together. It could be ATCs, tags, triptychs, or any other grouping. Just remember to create your project in one of our preferred styles: vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk. I think  you'll agree that there is something for everyone with this fabulous, new challenge !  

I've made a trio of vintage style, shaker decorations. I've used  Tim's Paper Dolls and some of  his  gorgeous Christmas papers, hoarded away from last year! I'll be back in a couple of weeks, with a tutorial, detailing, how to make one of these.


Winter Deer Triptych - Deb Riddell Designs

 For Toni's November challenge, I decided to create this winter themed deer silhouette triptych, pop on over to my blog for the how to. 


 Autumn Greetings! I had fun creating this art journal page with its set of pretty autumnal tags and a faux bark background to display them on. To see how everything came together and a list of materials, please pop over to my blog Let's Art Journal.

I have created a set of three collages for the signatures of a book I am currently making to journal knitting notes. I realised I had been knitting since the age of six so my three signatures reflect the passing of that time as a knitter. Do join me over on Live The Dream for more details of these little collages and the book they will decorate.

This is definitely a challenge after my own heart - I create in pairs, trios and sets more often than not, so I had a wonderful time making this autumnal leafy trio, counting down the moments before I put my dreams and thoughts into action with my autumn move to a new country and a new way of life.  Come and see more at Words and Pictures.


Fall vibes is a theme I love so much and the last two Facebook Live by Tim Holtz inspired me! I created a pair of bookmarks with autumn colours with the help of a lot of dies, stamps, and stencils! If you want to read how I made this project check out my Blog Yayascrap & more.


This challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make a start creating some Christmas cards. So armed with paints, gel plate, brayer, stamps and embossing powder the festive mixed media creativity began.  To  see and read more please feel free to stop by my blog, ink-a-pink

I think you'll agree with me, that The Creative Guides have once again, excelled themselves with a fabulous array of inspirational projects. Please hop over to their individual blogs to see the projects in more detail. Either follow the links, or just click on a Creative Guides name, to be transported to their blog. Of course, we would like nothing better, than to see your take on the challenge. You have until 6.30pm GMT, on the 3rd of December to upload your project. Happy crafting! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, 30 October 2020

October Tag Friday

 Hello and welcome to another Tag Friday!

Here we are the end of another month and another with a fifth Friday. So the Creative Guides are here to share with you our usual inspirational tags. We all love the chance to create without a theme, experiment, use up scraps and generally just have fun!

So scroll on down and see what we have created.



Ah, Tag Friday - we love it!  Autumn leaves are beautiful, but between the glorious colours of an autumnal forest, danger may lurk. Beware of vengeful women with too much knowledge of the toxic fungi they've been gathering in the woods!  Come over to Words and Pictures if you dare, to learn more about these Fungi Poisoners.


This Friday is the perfect day to create a pair of Halloween tags! I love so much the new Tim Holtz Stamps and Stencils and I used them together with Ranger Ink Perfect Pearls to obtain a shiny effect! If you want to read how I made the tags check out my blog Yaya scrap & more.  

Today I'm celebrating autumn and Halloween with a double-sided tag featuring Arthur Thinlits from Tim Holtz, as you can see my ghostly owl is having fun playing Peek-a-Boo! To see how this came together, please find full details on my blog, Let's Art Journal.

Creating tags is always so much fun, so I could not resist playing along this month. If you want to see how this tag came together, just head over to my blog


I skipped right over the USA Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons and went with a winter design for my tag, creating a Dox Spray Ink smooshed background for my winter trees and little ice skater!   You'll find more details on my blog post here. 

An Unfortunate Ending Halloween Tag - Deb Riddell Designs

I finally found my Halloween mojo which has been sadly lacking this year just in time for Tag Friday.  Pop on over to my blog for the spooky how to!


It is indeed a time for Joy, the weather is cooler and the pumpkins are coming out.  For my tag today I am celebrating Fall in all it's glory.  For more information and to see the products I used - please join me at my blog here.

My tag for 'Tag Friday', pays homage to the Mexican tradition 'The Day of The Dead', which occurs on the 2nd of November. The festival celebrates both life and death and Sugar Skulls play an important role in the celebrations. If you'd like to see how I put this tag together, please hop over to The Artistic Craft Dabbler blog with this link

It has been a little grey here in the North, so I have cheered up the craft room with a colourful tag using the new (wonderfully warm) Crackling Campfire Distress Ink. Do join me over on my blog Live the Dream if you would like to see more.

Our tags celebrate everything of the season whether it be Halloween or Autumn 
.... and even into Winter.

So I hope you are inspired and find something that lifts your spirit or gets 
you running to your craft desk.

There is still time to join our current challenge Numbers. You can find all the details HERE.
Join us next Friday for our new challenge hosted by the lovely Toni. 
We look forward to seeing you then!

Jennie and the Creative Guides x

Friday, 23 October 2020

Creative Cardmaking with Astrid

 Hello lovely visitors, it's Astrid here with our monthly cardmaking tutorial. Now, before I continue, it has to be said, I used to be a card maker, but in recent years probably the only time I make cards is for Christmas, so it really took me a while to decide what on earth I would do. Well, in the end, this turned into what I have called in my own mind, "A multi-layered mixed media card". The techniques I used could be used for many other projects, not just cards and indeed mine turned into the cover of a journal. So here goes:

Here first of all, is the finished card and below I will show you what steps I took to get there.

I started by taking an A 4 size piece of strong white card and covered it with random scraps of all sorts of vintage type papers from my stash, adhering them with mat medium, in order to create a kind of master board. I then covered that with a thin layer of gesso to blend it all together a bit.

I added a second layer of gesso and then in order to give it all some more depth and interest, I added some scraps of the top layer of paper serviettes, again randomly and using mat medium.

Another thin layer of gesso followed and then I roughly tore this background into several smaller pieces.

Now, which piece to choose to make a card? In the end I chose one of the pieces that were somewhat plain, in order the create some collage elements for the focal point of my card.
Here you can see the piece I chose, and below you can see what I ended up with after I added different collage elements to this background piece.

The girl with wings is from a collage sheet I created in collaboration with my blogfriend Marjie Kemper
If you are interested, you can get instructions of how to get it as a freebie by heading over to my blog. The other elements are just bits and pieces from my stash, - some washi, music paper, old book paper and a postage stamp.

Time to bring it all together into a card.

I created a backing piece by cutting a thin piece of card large enough for my focal piece to fit on, inked around the edges and added some subtle stencilling with my current favourite Tim Holtz stencil. I cut a card base from Kraft card, created some computer generated words and made a wax seal stamp as an additional embellishment, and voila, here is my finished card.
I'll finish by showing you a few close up photos still and hope you have enjoyed this little card project.

The butterfly girls, surrounded by some subtle shadows created with Distress Crayons. I always think it helps to create depth and integrate elements when adding images, when you add some shadowing like this.

Here you can see all the different paper layers, again blended together a bit with Distress Crayon. The colours I used were Tea Dye and Gathered Twigs.

And here the wax seal, mixing together different colours of to blend in with the rest of the project. The fern wax seal impression was highlighted with Treasure Gold White Fire.

Well, that's it for today, but, to be really honest, this project never really ended up as a card, but as the cover of one of my journals... if you want you can check it out on my blog, where you can also find the promised freebie with more butterfly girls.

As  October is a month with 5 Fridays, next week you can enjoy our Tag Friday projects, and of course there is also still some time left to join our Numbers challenge.

Thanks for your visit today, Astrid