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 27 June 2016

Destination Inspiration - Last Stop On Our June Journey

Hello and thanks for stopping by.  Deb here today to accompany you as we make our final stop on our Destination Inspiration journey for the month of June.  If you remember from our previous stops this month, our travel bags are packed with the following supplies:

Product:  Lace
Technique:  Texture Paste Through a Stencil
Colour:  Bubblegum Pink
Surface:  Canvas

I have to admit that neither bubblegum pink nor lace are within my comfort zone so this particular travel bag was a challenge but as I rather like the results perhaps it's time I expanded that comfort zone!

I started out with a 5" X 7" flat artists canvas and added some script stenciling to the top half of the canvas using Wendy Vecchi's Crackle Texture Paste through a Stencil Girl Rembrandt Words stencil.  I then laid down a basecoat of pink using Spun Sugar and Picked Raspberry Distress inks and then laid a piece of lace from my stash over the stenciled canvas and sprayed through the lace with Picked Raspberry Distress stain.

I randomly stamped the stenciled background with Tim's Ledger Script stamp and a Finnabair Bubble stamp using Potting Soil Archival ink and then added some spatters of colour using Picked Raspberry Distress stain, Vintage Photo Distress stain and watered down white acrylic paint.

I then fussy cut a piece of lace that I had stained with a coffee, vanilla and cinnamon mixture (from the same lace I used to spray the Distress ink through) and adhered it overtop of the stenciled lace design.  I coloured another piece of lace trim with Ground Espresso Distress spray and adhered it along the bottom of the canvas to ground it.  The edges of the canvas were shaded with Vintage Photo Distress crayon.

A piece of cardstock was coloured with Distress inks in Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry, Abandoned Coral and some spritz and flick with water and stamped with a bird cage stamp from Paper Artsy's HP1004 set.  The bird cage was then die cut with the coordinating Paper Artsy Bird Cage die.

More cardstock was painted with Distress paint in Tattered Rose and I printed the sentiment out on my computer and die cut the label with a Sizzix Ornate Label #4 die.  The edges of the die cut were shaded with some Vintage Photo Distress ink and the sentiment mounted onto some fun foam for a bit of dimension.

Flowers were die cut from pink cardstock I had in my stash and from the same cardstock coloured with Distress inks as the birdcage.  I used Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals and Tiny Tattered Florals dies and overstamped the die cut flowers with a fine script stamp and Potting Soil Archival ink.  The large flower was given some pink seed beads in the center and the smaller flowers had clear micro beads adhered into their centers with Glossy Accents.

A lovely little chipboard swallow from Southern Ridge Trading Company was coloured with a touch of Vintage Photo Distress ink around the edges and I then gave it a brush of Stardust Glitter glue to echo the reflective properties of the seed beads and micro beads in the flower centers.

The die cut bird cage was mounted onto some more fun foam for dimension and I stamped the wee birds again and fussy cut them and mounted them onto more fun foam so they appeared to be ready to take flight from their cage.

As this is our final stop on this month's Destination Inspiration journey, let's take a look back at the wonderful projects created by my fellow Creative Guides.


I am always amazed by the diversity of projects created from the same four ingredients, aren't you?

Thanks so much for traveling along with us this month and I hope that you will return in July when we will embark upon a brand new Destination Inspiration journey.  I also hope that you will join in our June challenge, Texture or Embossing Paste, there are still a few days left to join in the fun!  Have a wonderful week and as always, happy creating!

Deb xo

Friday 24 June 2016

Please welcome today's special guest ...

.... and we are so pleased that Katy Leitch has joined us with a beautifully bright summer inspired project for us and I really hope she has set the scene for the end of June and into July.

Well, I'm very very happy to be here today, with thanks to the lovely Brenda for inviting me to take part. I have been papercrafting for over ten years, with a special soft spot for stamping and mixed media. A lot of work takes inspiration from nature and this piece is no exception - the beach is a pet theme of mine!

Astrid's theme 'Texture and Embossing Paste' was practically made for me! I am a little tiny bit obsessed with texture pastes and stencils and I love to add texture to my work.

I'd describe today's make as kind of 'retro-vintage' as I think it has quite a '50s vibe to it. I used fresh colours which I hope give my canvas a happy feeling that celebrates the joy of summer (well summer in other countries anyway!!!).

There's a full step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures and more detail over on my own blog today, if you want to know more about how I made it :).

I used several different mediums to create texture, which can be seen on the close-up below. The 'water' is given depth with Prima Heavy Matte Gel through a Tando stencil, dry-brushed with white gesso when dry. The sand is created with DecoArt Texture Sand Paste, sprinkled with Prima Art Stones and tinted with DecoArt Media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide paint. Finally, my shell embellishment is created with embossing paste that's been tinted with paint before passing it through a TCW stencil.

If you like the stamp I used, it's from a set I designed my very self for Rubber Dance Art Stamps, called Take the Plunge. I love this retro lady!

Hope you've enjoyed my contribution as much as I've enjoyed being here today! Do pop over and catch me on my Facebook page if you'd like to :).

Good luck with the challenge!

Katy x


Thanks so much Katy, the colours are beautiful and that stamp is gorgeous, I'm so glad you told us you are the designer, that's brilliant, I shall look out for it. It will be lovely to welcome summer with this warm, summer coloured canvas and those gorgeous rays of sunshine - long may it continue. I'm off now to take a look at all the details on your blog.


Thanks to all of you out there who have stopped by today, I'm sure if you live in the southern hemisphere you are remembering those hazy days of summer and here in the UK we are hoping summer will arrive really soon after all the rain and thunder storms we have has this week.

See you Monday for the last Destination Inspiration post for the month and Friday we will be back with another new challenge. I hope you're one of the entries in the line up for the current texture / embossing paste challenge, they are all amazing, so thank you for sharing your talents with us.

Have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides. xxx

Monday 20 June 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: Lace
Technique: Texture Paste through a Stencil
Colour: Bubblegum Pink
Substrate: Canvas

Confession time - guess which bright spark suggested Bubblegum Pink as a colour and immediately regretted setting such a challenge (one which I must say my fellow Creative Guides, Alison and Jennie have tackled superbly!!!) Having taken a very deep breath I started down the path of creating a new canvas and here are the results;

I'm pretty sure you'll be wanting to know how this came together so I've put together a short Snapguide tutorial for you;

And to finish here are some close ups of the completed canvas;

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 'Texture or Embossing Paste'.

For now take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

Friday 17 June 2016

Pinworthy Inspiration Day

Hi everyone and welcome to our monthly dose of inspiration from our previously selected pinworthies. Mo and Ann were the Creative Guide's choice from our March challenge. This month our challenge theme is to use texture or embossing pastes so let's see what our guests have created.

Ann Chuang
Welcome everyone! 
My name is Ann Chuang. I come from Taiwan. I have been creating for many years now, always in search of new techniques. I have always liked creating, inspiration comes from random places and I have no set style. I'm looking forward to sharing my creations with all of you!
I am so excited and honoured to be asked by the team at AVJ once again  to do a guest design piece for their latest challenge hosted by the very talented Astrid who gave us a fabulous theme 'Texture and Embossing paste'. The theme gave me the opportunity to create a textured ATC Canvas for my wall. Below is a description of how I went about it.
I started by covering my canvas with a thin layer of white heavy gesso, scraped on with a palette knife. Let it dry. It's time for texture paste! My favorite way to add texture. The paste was used with the Prima ELEMENTALS stencil. I also added the corner with a thick layer of texture paste, which made it very easy to stamp into as you can see at the bottom rightNext I gave it all a layer of colour. I used Distress Stain and Distress Paint and played around until I was happy with the result. also added some background stamping.
Finally, I started to make the ATCs. I used White embossing powder to add the texture and then using Color Burst to add some colors. Cutting it into four pieces.

And here is the finished ATCs. I glued four layers with grey card behind the ATC to add the dimension.
I hope you like my little inspiration for this month theme. For a few more details you can stop by my blog. Thanks for taking a look at my project. Happy crafting!

Mo Stokes
Hi Everyone
My name is Mo and I live in a beautiful part of Norfolk, England near the coast with my hubby Alan and our beautiful dog 'Georgie'.  I have always enjoyed making things since I was a little girl, my style tends to lean towards the Vintage/Shabby Chic side of things and I love experimenting with mixed media.  I don't usually plan my projects in advance, I just like to go with the flow and see where my imagination takes me learning new techniques along the way.  I love all things botanical, animals, birds and the seaside - these themes tend to show up somewhere in nearly everything I create.
I am so excited and honoured to be asked by the team at AVJ once again  to do a Guest design piece for their latest challenge hosted by the very talented Astrid who gave us a fabulous theme  
'Texture and Embossing paste'
I just need to have texture in my projects, I struggle making anything 'flat', so I needed no encouragement at all to get out my embossing pastes and play.  The theme also gave my the perfect opportunity to create a textured Seascape Canvas for my wall.
The canvas was put together using 3 different embossing/crackle pastes both loosely added and through stencils
The realistic sand was made using a technique shown to us by Tim Holtz for his July 2014 tag HERE
I love the different textures you can achieve depending on how you apply them, it almost looks like an oil painting don't you think
You can still see some of the pattern of the original backing paper but it lies gently in the background of all the layers on top of it
By using the same papers for the sentiment the colours match perfect.  Love the crackled shell effects using the crackled paste as shells
Its difficult to see on the pictures but the glossy paste used for the sea and waves give a lovely contrast to the Matt pastes used for the sky and sand
I just had to add a little boat sailing gently in the distance, and the beach huts looking out to the sea so no doors from this angle, who wouldn't want to own one of those

If you would like to see how the canvas came together, please take a moment to pop over to my Blog for step by step pictures and more product info.
Mo x


Fabulous work ladies - I just love seeing how everyone interprets the themes and creates very different projects. This challenge is open until the end of June - so do grab your texture paste and come and join us!


Monday 13 June 2016

Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal 2

Hello everyone, Alison here, arriving at Terminal 2 of our Destination Inspiration posts this month.  Just to remind you, here's what's in the travel bags...

Substrate - Canvas
Colour - Bubblegum Pink
Technique - Texture Paste through a Stencil
Product - Lace

I hope you've already seen Jennie's lovely creation at Terminal 1, and here's where I landed up with the contents of my luggage...

It's a pretty chunky 6x6 canvas, so there was lots of room to play on the sides too.  But it also means that we're pretty photo-heavy today in order to try to catch things from every angle!

Pink isn't a colour I use often (though it has been known - there are some links in the sneak peek back over at Words and Pictures if you're curious), and I simply don't have anything which would count as a true Bubblegum Pink, so I cooked up a combination of Picked Raspberry and Worn Lipstick which I hope is quite bubble-gummy.  And, since straight pink doesn't quite look like "me" to me, I added in the spice of some Ripe Persimmon and some soft Dried Marigold to the mix.

I started by gluing several lengths of lace across the lower part of the canvas and then stencilled texture paste through one of Andy Skinner's stencils, all of this spilling over the sides too, of course.

I gave it all a coat of DecoArt Everlasting Chalky Finish (White) and then a coat of the Primitive (a soft stone colour) after that as I'd decided to add some crackle (of course).  I applied the crackle glaze (the one specially formulated for the chalk paints) with my finger so that I could be nice and random with how thickly or thinly it was spread in different places.

Once dry, I went again with the Everlasting, and it crackled up nicely to give a weathered, aged finish (excuse the deep shadows - morning sunlight on my craft desk!).

Then I started adding my colours... just love how they split and run over the cracks and the lettering.  You'll notice it's mostly nice and bright here...

... but as it dried overnight, it took on a softer hue, especially over the lace.  I could have solved that with a layer of matte medium and reapplying bright colours over that, but I rather liked the slightly gentler effect.

As you can see, I lightened up towards one corner of the canvas - it's mostly just Worn Lipstick and Dried Marigold up here.

And of course, the colour shading carries on over the sides...

 so that the bottom edge is pretty full on...

... as is the right hand side.

The left side shades towards the pastels as the front of the canvas does...

... and the top is very pale and subtle except for the right end where it meets the full on colour again.

It took me a while to sort out exactly what was going to go on top of all this colourful texture.  I knew flowers had to be part of it... 

But it took me a while to decide a photo was also needed, and then to get the right photo.  This beauty is from one of Finnabair's ephemera packs.

As you can see I'd initially thought one of these large wordbands would be the main focal point, with no photo at all...

... but once the photo arrived there was still room for this one, altered with some alcohol inks, to keep its place.

The breakthrough for me - from something which seemed pretty but not quite alive - was when I tried out some of these gorgeous Calico Craft Parts maple leaves.  

And when I remembered I had the tiny flower heads used on a couple of my favourite projects and brought them into the picture too... 

Well, that's when I started to get really happy.

And the final piece in the puzzle, the one that made me think, "ah, now we're getting there", was the rusty wire to hold the large wordband in place.

At last I had a canvas which hit the spot for me.  I hope it does for you too, and I hope you'll be back next Monday to see who's arriving next at Destination Inspiration.

In the meantime, do come and play along with Astrid's Texture and Embossing Pastes challenge (which all the DIs this month could also serve as inspiration for, given the travel bag contents!), and do remember to pop in on Friday to check out our Pinworthy Guests.  See you again soon!

Alison x