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 July 2015

Welcome special guest Cheryl Grigsby

Welcome everyone, we have another incredible Guest Creative Guide today who is sharing her amazing talent. Cheryl designs and creates the most fabulous projects and has kindly accepted our offer to share something today, let's take a look ...........

Destinations....  What a universal and inspiring theme!!

I was so thrilled to be invited as a Guest Creative Guide for A Vintage Journey!!  Thanks to Brenda, Terry Ann, Nikki and all the VJ team for the honor and for the creative challenge. One of the phrases from Tim Holtz Simple Talk sticker set is “out of limitations comes creativity” which I find completely true.  A “limitation” in the form of a theme, a defined challenge, a palette of colors, mediums, tools or embellishments that must be used in a project provide a beginning and set a range that tempt one to sneak over those lines.  Pablo Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Cheryl Grigsby
I was born and raised in Texas and in 1997 moved to Colorado with my husband and children.  Its hard for a Texan to leave, but honestly, we were moving to an amazing place!!  Estes Park, Colorado is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Who could complain about living in such a wonderland?  Still, my heart has always been torn and tugged between two places I loved.  “Destinations” gave me a pondering place to consider destinations not as a distant place but rather a place to return.  Destination: home.

I think all of us who have followed Tim's blog have been inspired and amazed (and exhausted!!) by his journaling of his travels.  But we are also touched by the sweetness of the pictures and messaging of the touchdown home.

But where is home, really?  This Vintage Journey helped me explore that.  Journey with me…..

I wanted to create a sort of hobo bag to collect ephemera that represent "home" to me.  A place to collect maps and clippings, pinecones and bluebonnet seed packets, pictures and lyrics.  I headed to my trusty ready-to-be-altered stash and grabbed this burlap bag that had contained an inner plastic bag of flour.  Gorgeous packing for spelt, no?

I gave the bag a foundation of gesso and then crosshatched a range of blues from Dina Wakley's Media paints: Lapis, Turquoise, Sky, and White.  I start with the darkest color, lapis, knowing that the next layers will cover and that the darker paint will peak through.  I added progressively lighter colors and then dry brushed the darker lapis at the very end, just adding touches where they were needed.

I tore some strips of white tissue paper and stamped some script, using Stamper's Anonymous Dutch Script stamp and Watering Can Archival Ink.  Archival Ink is waterproof and perfect for this step.  I brushed the strips with matte Glue N Seal, also waterproof. After applying to my substrate, I brushed another layer of Glue N Seal over the tissue paper. All of the tissue paper is adhered in this project in this same way.  I don't expect to be carrying this bag around in the rain, but  you never know....

I layered some bits of tissue paper with Embossing Paste and then added a bit of script stamping in the blank areas.  I have used Tim's Speckles and Cargo stencils here.  I began to work in some meaning with the layers.  The letters stenciled here are my husband's initials "RKG".  RKG = Home

The embossing paste got a wash of Hickory Smoke Distress Paint thinned down with water to tone it down a bit.

I have some tags I've cut out of heavy rescued canvas and painted them here with Old Paper Distress Paint.  Over that, I stitched down a gorgeous spoon made in Czechoslovakia I picked up at a yard sale.  It has tiny enamel images of birds and has been living on my desk for the longest time, patiently waiting to be added to some art!  Colorado has such an amazing variety of ever present birds that sing to us constantly.  Very faintly on the tag you can see the letters T, X and S, just how they appear on the stencil.

In this wider shot, you can see the tissue paper strips layered and crosshatched as a foundation for my embellishments.

The die cut word "destination" is adhered to a bit of tissue paper with Glue N Seal. Again, the tissue paper is then adhered to the bag and Glue N Seal is brushed over the top. Get it?  Glue AND Seal.  ;-)

I've used Tim's Foundry Frame (LOVE!!!) here to frame my "bluebonnets".  These are tiny ribbon roses I painted with Dina's Media paint in lapis and a kiss of white, and then wrapped them with floral tape to create bluebonnets.  The Foundry Frame got a rub of white paint for distress.  It is also stitched down with waxed linen and the stitches are hidden by the flowers and the ribbon at top and bottom.

More tissue paper layers, a Trellis On-the-Edge die from Professor Holtz, cut out of Wallflower Paper Stash scrap, painted lapis and then just finger touched with Brushed Pewter Distress Spray Stain.  The word band reminds me not to yearn and long for some other place, but to look around me and find my home in the hearts of those around me, in the everyday beauty found almost anywhere and to live in the moment.

This moment can be home.

The dominant message is created with Adventure Words: Script Thinlits dies, 
Word Play Alterations die, and Alpha Parts Framed arrow.


I always love the texture of hessian / burlap and love using it in my projects too but this fabulous sack is a stunner and to have one altered in this way would be wonderful. Thank you so much Cheryl for joining us and sharing such a great project and your process steps with us. I have a small hessian pouch sitting on my windowsill in a pile of bits and now you have inspired me to have a go at making it into a cover for something. Ooooh I love it when I get excited to create and can't wait to get going.

Thank you all for stopping by to see our very gifted guest and please go take a look at Cheryl's fabulous blog and leave her some love.

Our July challenge is still open with a theme of Destinations chosen by Nikki and being hosted by Jenny and we have some fabulous entries for you to take a look at as well as the Creative Guide inspiration pieces. We will also be back on Monday with Terminal 4 of our Destination Inspiration articles.

Have a great weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Team xxx


  1. What a fabulous idea and wonderful execution Cheryl. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us at A Vintage Journey. Nikki xx

  2. Such an amazing project Cheryl, and such a great post! I love all the thoughts behind it, and the message you convey is so true! The finished result of that fabulous bag is just stunning, the blues in the background with those gorgeous blue bonnets are so eye catching, the whole project is just inspiring from beginning to end! Thanks so much for joining us here on AVJ with such a fantastic project!

  3. Wow I am just blown away by this wonderful piece Cheryl - everything it represents and all those wonderful techniques and embellishments. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creativity with us here at AVJ - I am sure this is a project I will come back to again and again. Jennie x

  4. Gorgeous Cheryl! I love the soft blues with the vibrant blue flowers against the neutral background. The birds on the spoon are my favourite bit, and that little frame too! hugs :)

  5. Cheryl I enjoyed reading about you, your inspiration and journeys and how you created your destination sack. So many loving details. I think I may have a burlap bag hiding in my stash. Maybe I should take a look.

  6. It's fascinating to hear the story behind this beautiful altered bag and makes complete sense of the elements you've chosen to use on it. And what a beautiful way to think about home, however far away. Thank you so much for sharing. Jenny x

  7. Always love a good repurposing project and this one is amazing!!! Love the layers and imagery.

  8. Such an inspiring post! I have learned so much... Thank you for sharing this with us!

  9. Your 'hobo' bag is so beautiful Cheryl, I love the wonderful blue tones, the blue bonnet flowers stand out beautifully - this is a fantastic way to collect and keep your memorabilia to remind you of home! Thanks so much for sharing this with us here at AVJ and for your superb step by step too! Anne x

  10. A wonderful post Cheryl full of inspiration. Lovely to see your process and how your creative mind works as you craft.
    Thanks so much for joining us at AVJ, Julie x

  11. This stunning and wonderful to see how you made it

    Love Chrissie xx

  12. Thank you so much for joining us as Guest DT today Cheryl - I love working with bags - and I really enjoyed seeing how you transformed yours - love the paints, stencils and ephemera - and your lovely commentary on where exactly home is! Julia xx

  13. A real heartwarming upcyling project . So lovely to read how your idea for your hobo bag came about and then for you to share the creative process - thankyou for this and for the inspiration . x

  14. Ahhh - what a wonderful post to read Cheryl. I'm in Texas so I understand your sentiment a bit! Your bluebonnets are so fun - made me smile. FABULOUS project... love the thought of putting things in your burlap bag that are "home". Very creative and definitely inspiring. j.

  15. Cheryl, your post is one that starts the mind pondering. I love your burlap sack and the way you altered will be a fabulous place to collect little treasures and memories. You inspire me...Fabulous piece!

  16. Cheryl, your post is one that starts the mind pondering. I love your burlap sack and the way you altered will be a fabulous place to collect little treasures and memories. You inspire me...Fabulous piece!

  17. Cheryl, your guest designer piece is so lovely and your words to describe your thoughts in putting this lovely piece together. Such a wonderful creative journey! Your words are almost like a poem as you describe your inspiration and how you thought out each element you added. It is such a lovely burlap bag with so many artsy and lovely details. Beautiful job!!!

  18. AWESOME!!!! Love the use of the bag, and what a transformation! So great to see Cheryl here!

  19. Cheryl -- thanks so much for taking us along on this journey. Home ... what a wonderful concept in a moment. I am so thrilled with your use of the bag. Love this idea!!! Gorgeous spoon and bluebonnets :) Beautiful make. -- Mary Elizabeth

  20. Lovely alteration...the burst of blue, the flowers and the frame makes this no ordinary bag! Just beautiful.

  21. Yay and welcome Cheryl! It is so nice to have you as a guest at AVJ and sharing your beautiful burlap bag! I can certainly understand you love of both Texas and Colorado as home really is where the heart is and that can be in more than one place! Love this, Hugs!

  22. Hi Cheryl! It's so good to have you here as our Special Guest Designer this month!! It's such a pleasure to have you--and with creations like this, we're lucky to have you!! :) :) This burlap bag is just too darn fun! I love your hint of Texas in your stenciling and those brilliant itty bitty little bluebonnets--LOVE IT ALL!! Thank you sooo much for being here with us at A Vintage Journey!! This darling bag is sure to inspire!! XOXO-Shari

  23. Wonderful project Cheryl and love to hear your thoughts as you created this wonderful bag,thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on being chosen as a guest designer here at AVJ!