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).

Monday 28 March 2016

Destination Inspiration : Terminal 4

Hello everyone, Jennie here with you today, your AVJ Creative Guide waiting to welcome you at Terminal 4 with this month's travel bag. Let's have a peep in the bag just to refresh ourselves as to what we are using:

Product: Something Metal

Technique: Rust Effects (perhaps using rusting or embossing powders
 or rust coloured paints)

Colour: Lilac or Pale Purple

Substrate: Board (e.g. greyboard, coaster board, cardboard)

I decided to use my travel bag goodies to make a chunky ATC. I love being able to cram a lot of items in a small space and by using thick cardstock this meant I could really go to town with paint and embellishments.

My greyboard ATC was first coated with gesso and then some crackle paste added with a stencil. I used Dusty Concord Distress Spray Stain and LOTS of water to get this faded look.

Next, a little overstamping with a text stamp and Dusty Concord Distress Ink (second generation stamping to get a faded look). It was still needing something else and the new Tim Holtz Metallic Rub Ons are just a perfect size for an ATC and provide a bit of "class"!

Then I started playing around with different embellishments. This greyboard heart was painted in gesso and dabbed with Dusty Concord Distress Ink and then overstepped with a crackle background stamp. I really love this effect.

For my rusting element I decided to again "rust" a piece of paper clay with DecoArt paint and Antiquing Cream. If you missed my tutorial for this at the beginning of the month click HERE to go the post on my blog.


This really is a fun technique and no-one would ever know it was paper clay!

Finally I added a little more metal in the form of a picture brad and a pin.

A little project but still using all the travel bag goodies. 

Three of my fellow Creative Guides have already shared their inspirational pieces with you this month as part of the Destination Inspiration journey, but in addition, as the Travel Bag is also this month's theme, you have been treated to a huge array of inspirational projects from the rest of the Creative Guides and our Challenge Winner and Pinworthies.

If you are still inspired but haven't entered you still have a few more days to get those projects in. And I hope my little ATC shows that it doesn't have to be a big project - even small ones can cram in all the goodies !!

As we are  now at Terminal 4 it is time to share with you the four projects made by the Creative Guides with the March Travel Bag - all so very different and yet all based on the essential craft items in the bag.  

Next Monday there will be a new set of crafty items in our Travel Bag so do join us again next week to see what the Creative Guides are working with!

Thank you for joining us today.

Jennie x

Friday 25 March 2016

Celebrating Andy Skinner as a Guest Artist.

Hi everyone, as it's the fourth Friday of the month we usually have an invited guest Creative Guide, but today we thought we would mix things up a bit and share with you some projects and links back to the amazing Andy Skinner.

Many of us here on the AVJ team and living in the UK have had opportunities to attend Andy's workshops and here are some of us at Stitches Trade Show in February.

L to R Brenda, (Cathryn), Julia SW, Nikki, Andy, Anne

And last November at Mixology 2015 in Coventry - although we didn't get Andy in the picture there were several of us there.

L to R Brenda, Alison, Jennie, Anne, Julie.

Andy, very kindly, is supporting AVJ this month with his generous prize for the winner of the challenge - the contents of the DI travel bag - details here. He is a very talented artist with his own unique style and has spent a few years travelling the length and breadth of the UK teaching his techniques and enabling his students to create wonderful grungy, textured projects in a mixed media style....

... and often in a shabby vintage style.

Those of you who have known Andy for a while may well have been part of his on-line workshops where he has enabled students far and wide to have an insight into his imagination and creative techniques for all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to add texture, create rust and age worn elements.
Take a look at this casting from his Outcast workshop and this is what he says about it -
"I have been casting and teaching casting methods for over 12 years now, mainly in the keepsake industry with children's hand and foot prints. Over the years I have built up a plethora of techniques for doing this, some of which have been used in this wall hanging".

Andy also has an incredibly funny sense of humour and is straight up front with his comments -
"Now before I get any hate mail accusing me of working for Satan himself because I have used skulls on this project, I want you to know that these techniques can work just as well with flowers, cuddly bears and fairies etc….. lol".

If you are interested in taking any of Andy's on-line workshops check out this LINK to see what is available. This is just one of them.

It was in March 2013 that Andy joined DecoArt as Executive Consultant assisting with product development, supporting DecoArt’s Helping Artist Program, being the person behind the technique video production as well as serving as DecoArt brand ambassador at trade shows and conferences. Oh my what a journey he has had and come such a long way, I know he is soooo proud of the DecoArt media line that he uses and educates about these days. Check out his CHA 2016 workshop make and his blog round up explaining what he did using these products and the fun he had at the show.

Andy loves sharing tips and techniques on his blog and if you haven't visited yet it is well worth a visit, go take a look at some of the tutorial posts he has listed.

Now we can't miss out the Andy Skinner products available, Andy's own stamps, stencils and masks, chipboard kits, image transfer sheets and printable downloads. He collaborates with Tando Creative with his chipboard kits and Stampendous with his stamps. Just google any of these to find nearest stockists. Here are some of the designs.

I remember last Autumn seeing Andy demo DecoArt products on the Craft Channel, in fact I think still have a couple saved on the planner. Now please don't quote me but I think there maybe more of these coming up soon so keep an eye out.

For those of you who are on the Wanderlust journey I know Andy is in the process of filming his video for a little later in the year, keep a look out for this too.

To finish off here are some recent projects that you can find on Andy's blog.

Industrial Elements samples

So there we have it, a rich and varied look at the life and works of Andy Skinner.

Thanks for stopping by and many thanks to Andy for allowing us to share his art this week.


Don't forget you have one more week to enter our March challenge using the contents of this month's travel bag. We already have some amazing projects entered which are so worth exploring, do go take a look at the main challenge post and hopefully you will be inspired to get an entry in before it closes next Thursday. Get the link from our side-bar.

See you again on Monday with the last of our DI posts for the month and a round-up of the Creative Guides projects that were included in the March travel bag. Have a great weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guide team. xxxx

Monday 21 March 2016

Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal 3

Hi everyone and welcome! Jenny here for your next stop on this month's Destination Inspiration adventure. Let's undo the travel bag again to remind ourselves what is in there.

Product: Something Metal
Technique: Rust Effects (perhaps using rusting or embossing powders or rust coloured paints)
Colour: Lilac or Pale Purple
Substrate: Board (eg grey board, coaster board, cardboard)

I did a little remixing of my own on this canvas board and got the chance to play with my new Distress Crayons into the bargain. First up a Tim Holtz 'shabby chic technique' (I know we are not a strictly Tim focussed challenge any more but it's one of my favourites - I used it HERE). With the background dry I drew lines of crayon on top, smudging them as I went. They really added to the faded vintage wallpaper look and glided easily over the paint embossed surface.

Next part of the remix, a repeat of the first of my faux rusted techniques (a full tutorial can be found HERE) but with the added layering of more smudged Distress Crayons. And if you want them to blend a little more just add water on the parts you want to 'move'.

Finally I blended yet more Distress Crayons over and embossed piece of black card. This is so cool and works brilliantly with the contrasting colours.

With the addition of a photo from Murano, Italy, stamping, flowers, metal embellishments, pearls, lace and sanded kraft core card the canvas was complete. Here are the close ups...

So that's it for Terminal 3. Make sure you join us here next Monday for the next scheduled stop on this month's journey, and if you feel inspired by today's post don't forget to get those entries in for our current challenge 'Destination Inspiration Travel Bag'.

For now take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

Friday 18 March 2016

March Challenge Inspiration - Pinworthy Guests

Happy Friday everyone. Nikki here to introduce our monthly inspiration post from previous pinworthies. This month's challenge is to use our Destination Inspiration Travel Bag... here is a reminder of the contents:

Substrate – Board (eg - grey board, coaster board, cardboard, chipboard) 
Main Colour – Lilac or pale purple 
Technique – Rust Effects (perhaps using rusting or embossing powders or rust coloured paints) 
Product – Something metal 

We have already seen how this can be interpreted in so many ways by the Creative Guides and our first guest of the month - Sara Emily. Don't forget we now welcome a number of genres - vintage, shabby, mixed-media, art journaling, industrial and steampunk - so you have great scope to express your creativity.

Let's see what Autumn, Nicola and Alicia have created!


I am married to an amazing man, and my biggest supporter.  We have four children, yes four!  I work full time as a church secretary.  I have been stamping for over 15 years.  Creativity is my outlet, passion and purpose.  I define my style as grunge meets elegance.  Though I love to distress everything, I like to balance my work with a touch of pretty and neat.  In addition to stamping, I love to draw and paint and have found that mixed media allows me to blend these skills and create rich artwork, filled with depth and texture.  I couldn't be happier to be joining A Vintage Journey for their birthday celebration!  Happy birthday AVJ and thanks to the DT for the brilliant inspiration thus far!
I used Tim Holtz's darling little girl as the focal point for this watercolor collage on canvas.  She is layered on burlap and a "rusted" corrugated panel.
I used one of Tim's tiny layering stencils to create texture and depth in my background.  This new floral stencil is quickly becoming my favorite!  
A scrap of hymnal page brings in some vintage warmth.  My Grandmother and I used to sing this song together often growing up...
A close up of the rusty treatment, with all the details to be found on my blog, SewPaperPaint


Hello. I'm Nicola (aka Paper Profusion) and I'm thrilled to be a guest designer again here at A Vintage Journey. It's always wonderful to have the opportunity to feature at one of my favourite blogs - very many thanks to Brenda and team for inviting me. I was delighted to have won the first ever AVJ challenge so it's additionally pleasing to feature again in the month of it's 2nd Birthday.
I was a tad alarmed when I learned the travel bag 'ingredients' to include in my project. Metal item, rust effects and board substrate were no problem but lilac! Yikes! I'm not overly fond of that particular shade. I was happy though to learn that AVJ have broadened their guidelines so that inspiration may be taken from any artist, provided that the vintage genre etc. is adhered to. I'm not sure how I ended up making this particular project but I set out to create in the style of Frank Garcia (Prima Designer) whose projects I love.
My final result is a Marie Antoinette Shoe...
I've used cardboard, for both the shoe sole and the ornate stand, sandwiched between layers of paper by Maja Design and SEI Velvet. The shoe upper is made from Tim Holtz grungepaper as it was ideal to hold all the layers of gesso, inks, sprays, beads and glitter that were applied, as well as being easy to shape.
Added oodles of lace and bling, including a lovely metal bezel that I've aged faux silver.
The 'heel' was white polymer clay and the stand feet are chipboard diecuts that I've altered to look aged and slightly rusted. Painted some of the paper surfaces with Twinkling H20s as it gives a satin like shimmer - similar to fabric shoes from the Marie Antoinette era. Tim Holtz's flourish stencil worked a treat with crackle paste.
Unfortunately shoe comfort and safety levels cannot be guaranteed - despite the centuries, some things never change!
Huge thanks again to the ├╝ber-talented ladies at A Vintage Journey for inviting me to guest design. Whilst I worked on this piece I mostly thought that I never wanted to see the lilac hue again but the strange thing is that it's started to grow on me!
If you would like to see more photos and details, including shoe template source, please pop over to my blog.
Happy 2nd birthday AVJ! Warmest wishes,
Nicola x


Hi, My name is Alicia O'Bryant and I am a wife and mother to one son, one stepson, one dog and 2 turtles. I live in the U.S.  I have been crafting since childhood.  For many years I created and sold beaded jewelry, in more recent years I have moved to paper crafts.  You can see my latest work on my blog Golden Goddess Designs.  I enjoy mixing media as you can see on the project I made for A Vintage Journey today. 
I started with a harlequin piece of Tim Holtz grunge board this month's substrate.  I inked it with a multi color pigment ink pad, Brilliance twilight a combination of pearly lilacs and lavenders, perfect for the color in this month's travel case.  Two ingredients down and two to go.
The next two ingredients are metal and rust.  I took a cue from last month's tutorial and created a butterfly with Judikins Rustique embossing powder.  I have more detail on my blog post about this project.  I started with heavy duty aluminum foil die cut and embossed with a Tim Holtz matching set.  I used embossing ink and layered two different colors of Judikin's rust effect embossing powder: azure and jade. 
I then needed to find a way to combine the two parts of my project.  I thought a nice frame might work and rummaged through my stash.  I love this old frame and I am so happy to give it such a nice new life!  It also gave me the idea of a "garden" since it was already full of greenery and flowers.  I cut down the grunge board to fit the frame and started to embellish.
I wanted to pull more of the colour in this month's travel case so I added several different lilac ribbons and fibers.  I tied them together with a pretty button and stuck in some pins I received in a swap.
Thanks so much to A Vintage Journey for having me as a Guest Designer this month!


Thank you ladies! Two beautifully created, but very different canvases from Autumn and Alicia and the elegance of Nicola's shoe - just goes to show how this theme can be used in so many ways! 

We look forward to seeing your creations! We will be back on Monday with another Destination Inspiration post. 
Have a great weekend everyone.