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).

Sunday 14 December 2014

Secret Santa bonus post and Christmas Giveaway

Hello and welcome to a very special extra post here at A Vintage Journey. Nikki gave you the heads up on her challenge post on Friday that the Creative Guides were participating in a special gift exchange with each other and here we are with the big reveal to see what each person received.

When organising this event it was decided that we wouldn’t share with each other who we were making for or who we received from so much of this is just as much a surprise for each of us as it is to you. Only I have known all the details.

We are sharing a photo here of each project with you on the AVJ blog and if you click on people’s names you will be transported to their blogs to see more details about the project they made. Please read on to the end of this post to also find out about our Christmas Giveaway and what to do to be entered into the draw.


I made an altered book for Anne as a special place for her to keep all her Tim tags for 2015. Anne might like to embellish the cover but there is lots of me inside. All is revealed at Bumblebees and Butterflies.

The person that I had to give to was the wonderful Alison (Butterfly) from Words and Pictures.
Well, it being Alison that I had to give to, I knew words would have to be a main feature in whatever I created. So in the end I made her a little mini, holding my favourite Christmas poem that I will share with you all at the end of the post on my personal blog


My gift was for Annie and having spent a couple of days crafting with her back in September, I couldn't ignore the fact that she loved candles. I decided to make this T-light book/box which holds six Mulled Wine Christmas T-Lights using Tim's Merriment Paper Stack.

Secret Santa - Nikki

I decided to make a little Tim inspired personalised chocolate box for Jools. I used stamps and stencils to decorate it and a crackled die cut ‘J’. 

There are lots more photos and details over on my blog today – Addicted to Art. 

"It was a privilege to be chosen to create a present for my lovely teamie Jennie Atkinson (Live The Dream), but it also filled me with trepidation - well have you SEEN the incredible works of art she creates?!! I settled on altering a journal with the idea that she could take it with her on one of her sailing holidays for doodling, drawing, making notes or whatever else takes her fancy."

Jools 500 (1)

I created a snowy starry night journal for Brenda as she loves journals, I was inspired by Tim's November Tag technique and used his Layered Snowflake die and added a little sparkle! 

Julie L (1)

I was delighted to find out I was to make a Christmas gift for the ever so talented Nikki. My gift to her is a Tree Decoration nestled within a Keepsake Box for safe storage.

Jenny loves vintage sewing themes and I love creating 3D objects, so I combined these and created a perpetual calendar for Jenny using Tim Holtz papers, Distress Spray Stains and Tim's Word Play die'. 

Julia_edited-1-500 (3)
For my gift to Astrid - I stamped or stenciled both sides of a little muslin bag adding some stampings and some Idea-ology findings. I made a card using Tim's Artful Dwellings die, some spray stains and stamps - to slip inside along with some extra die cuts of the Artful Dwellings for Astrid to use on some projects!

"My make for the team Secret Santa event was quite a challenge! What do you make for someone as talented as our teamies? What can you think of that hasn't been done before? (Well, it probably has been done by someone as they say nothing is original anymore but at least I thought it up, lol!) My tealight stand can be adapted for any occasion but this is my Christmas one sent to Julie with love and best wishes for Christmas! Chris xxx"

alison 1

I drew the lovely Julia Aston out of the virtual hat - eek, an earlier deadline to get it to the States on time! - and created a card which keeps on unfolding its secrets... from the front cover, to the inside, to the tags, to the reverse of the tags. I can't show you all that here, so you'll just have to come over to Words and Pictures to see the rest. I hope Julia likes it... I was certainly a bit reluctant to send it away!

Sandy combochris

I was delighted when I got to make a gift for my lovely team mate Chris. 

I made a (battery operated) candle votive using a Graphic 45 Box; I decorated it with some beautiful snowflake ribbon, Tim's snowflake embossing folder and some of his fabulous legs, then made some tattered pinecones to embellish the front. I kept the theme all snowflakes and blue with a matching card. 

Annie P1020646

For my gift, which was for the very talented Sandy Diller, of 'My Crafty Life on The Internet' blog, I made an 8 by 8 Tri-Fold card. The base is plain card stock that I covered with Tim Holtz Seasonal Papers. The centre photograph/verse on sides are from the same paper stash and were matted on red and black card. Papers were distressed using Vintage Photo Distress Ink and some burlap ribbon tied it all together, with a few jingle bells attached. A few crafty goodies were also included and in particular some Tartan Ribbons. It has been great fun taking part in our first Secret Santa swap and I certainly hope we can do it again. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas with Best Wishes for the New Year too xx

Special Christmas Give-Away

We would like to give each and every one of you who enter our challenges and who read our blog posts a Christmas gift and the nearest we could think of doing this is to offer our Christmas Give-Away.

This is a lovely present for one lucky person.

Now just to be friendly we would like you to -

1. Visit all the blogs of the Creative Guides above and leave them a comment. Just click their name to be transported to their Secret Santa posts.

2. Come back here and leave a link up on the Linky below to a post on your blog where you have mentioned our Give-Away and linked it back here - this might be a new post just with the Give-Away info in it or you could include it in a post you are writing for something else - just like you would if you were entering a challenge.

If we get more than 30 links there will be a second prize Giveaway added .........

..... and if we get more than 50 links there will be a third prize.

Make sure you have linked by 23.55 on Sunday the 21st of December which is when the Linky closes. The winner will be chosen by Random Org and announced on our following challenge post which will be on the 26th December.

Good luck everyone, enjoy the hop and thank you in advance for taking part.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides


  1. Wow, these look amazing altogether. Wonderful gifts from and for everyone, Merry Christmas to you all xxxx

  2. Stunning gifts! what a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays! A very merry Christmas to the design team!

  3. Thank you Brenda for organizing this lovely event - what beautiful and diverse creations made by each of us - a wonderful way to start the joy of the season!

  4. What fabulous and creative gifts from the DT. A truly wonderful selection Brenda. Hugs Rita xxx

  5. What great inspiration, I loved looking at all the secret Santa makes x

  6. Huge thanks to you Brenda - for organising the Secret Santa, for making my wonderful gift and to the Team for inspiring us all with their fantastic makes!! As Julia has already said, it is a wonderful way to start the Christmas season. Hugs, Anne xx

  7. Absolutely gorgeous gifts and I loved my card box from Jennie. A huge Thank You to Brenda for organising our gift exchange. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone xxx

  8. Wow I shall enjoy taking my time looking in detail at all these fabulous makes. I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at Brenda's amazing work. Your must have all be so thrilled with your gifts, you are all such incredibly talented ladies. I will come back to link up soon...Merry Christmas to you all and thanks for all you inspiration...I love it xx

  9. This truly has been a labour of love by all the DT and it has been a real treat to see what everyone gave/made. Thank you so much Brenda for organising this very special act of gift giving between such a talented group. Much love to you all, Jenny xxx

  10. wow! Such lovely creations and what a wonderful thought to make gift for your teamies! As always lovely inspirations from all you talented is going to be visual treat to visit each one of you. Thanks for this opportunity.

  11. Wow Brenda, thanks so much for this wonderful idea of Secret Santa. The post looks truly magical, the way Christmas should be.
    Have a wonderful festive season everyone. Looking forward to visiting
    all your blogs later on.
    Julie x

  12. So many wonderful projects, I can't wait to get a better looksie at them all! Fabulous idea to exchange gifts and the prizes look fantastic! Thanks for all the wonderful challenges this year, happy holidays to all! hugs :)

  13. I for one am thrilled you all played Secret Santas - the projects on this hop were amazing! What a talented Team you all are!

  14. Wow such amazing projects and gifts that will be treasured - simply brilliant

  15. What a lovely "Secret Santa" share of beautiful gifts and all to be treasured! Now I am off to see all the details from my fabulous DT Sisters! Happy Sunday!

  16. Oh my this blog is fully of creativity and show casing Tim Holtz to the nine...thanks Terry for pointing me here..

  17. Thank you Brenda for organising the Secret Santa, fabulous work from all of the Design Team
    I'm going to start visiting them all

    Jools x

  18. Wow what an amazing set of gifts and creations - I wish I had them all ! Thanks for organising Brenda and Happy Christmas to everyone xx

  19. Fabulous gifts and give-away! I won't link up as I already have lots of TH goodies :) Happy Christmas to everyone!

  20. Amazing Secret Santa gifts, what wonderful and thoughtful creations! Thanks for an inspiring blog hop and for your generous giveaway and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

  21. Amazing work ladies. All those beautiful secret Santa makes. I've enjoyed looking at them all. Karen.x

  22. Big thanks to Brenda for organising a wonderful Secret Santa swap - it's been so much fun seeing the big reveal! And what an array of gorgeous projects flitting around the world...
    Alison xx

  23. Wonderful gifts you all came up with. Its going to be a Merry Christmas for your secret Santas

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  25. Stunning Secret Santa gifts. Will be visiting all blogs to drink up the details of thes amazing makes . Thank you for a great challenge blog full of Tim gorgeousness just wish I always had time to enter every challenge........2weeks goes so fast.....
    Merry Christmas to you all

  26. Amazing, Amazing!! I can't wait to go to each CG's blog and see the behind the scenes details of what went into each special gift--other than Love & Heart!! What a very fun way to celebrate each other's unique creativity :) Thank you for giving us a chance to share in some Christmas Giveaway fun, too!! HO HO HO Merry Christmas!! XOXO-Shari

  27. This is like Christmas already! Going to everyone's blogs felt like opening a gift! Yippee! DT killed it!!!! ~Niki

  28. Wow! I loved looking at all these wonderful Creations- So inspirinmg Thank you- And thank you for the chance to win such great give aways too!

  29. This has been an amazing journey, visiting around the globe with each and every one of the Creative Guides! I have truly enjoyed all of the gifts you have made for one another. So much time and love went into each and everyone of them. I feel like I have already received the gift 13 times over! Thank you, Brenda, for organizing this! And thank you for the chance to win another generous gift (or gifts, if more link up!)!!! Merry Christmas!

  30. What creativity~ all the gifts are beautiful and so thoughtful! I have enjoyed looking at each one of them and I know you will cherish the gifts you received.

  31. Oh that Secret Santa, all the projects are so inspirational, such a great things, thanks for sharing your present exchange with us :-)

  32. This is such a good idea - so much inspiration and happy recipients into the mix! Oh I have enjoyed looking! (and will probably go back again to some for another look) Chrisx

  33. I am amazed at all the wonderful creativity from the team. I am certainly enjoying my gift(s). Have them sitting out to admire to admire and enjoy throughout the season. Thanks Brenda - so much fun.

  34. Your gifts are all amazing ladies! Thanks for chance to win these terrific giveaways - love the idea!! Nicola x

  35. ps Merry Christmas to you all. Nicola x

  36. Thank you for the lovely giveaway! Would love to win something this Christmas season :)

  37. It sure was not a punishment to visit all the blogs! Have a blessed christmas and a good 2015!

  38. I thoroughly enjoyed the Secret Santa post. Although I have not had the opportunity to enter a Vintage Journey Challenge...I assure you that I visit the blog with each new post. Such a talented design team that inspires.