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 31 March 2017

Tag Friday for the end of March

What better way to (almost) end our Birthday celebrations than with a Tag Friday post? We just love it when there's a fifth Friday in the month because we can play to our hearts content and just have fun with new techniques and new products. I think you're gonna love the inspiration from the Creative Guides taking part.
Also it will be worth you reading right to the end of the post as there's a special message and invitation to join in with us.


I love Tag Friday.  I've got what is definitely a springtime tag for you today, even though it was actually made in the depths of February!  It's part of my ongoing watercolour obsession - the flowers were all "coloured" with my lovely paints, and I had a wonderful time arranging them over the textured wall.  Do come over to Words and Pictures to see the details of my Wallflowers.

I was excited to get a chance to play with my new Distress Oxide Inks for this month's Tag Friday.  I used them spritzed with water on my craft mat and also through stencils.
Please join me at my blog post here to see just how I created my background and put together my tag!

I opted to decorate one of Tim Holtz Etcetera Tags using Seth Apter's monoprint technique. I have added many layers to this design resulting in a fabulous textural piece. Pop by my BLOG for more indepth pictures. 

Watercolour paper, two distress oxides and some picket fence distress paint and that's all I used for my background. I think it has a feel of old, aged wallpaper don't you? I just love the paper dolls - saves me cutting out the found relatives lol. I would be very happy to see you over at Bumblebees and Butterflies if you'd like all the details.

Like many people I decided to have a play with my new Oxides. I turned my original tag into a card, using a few of my other new goodies. If you want to see how all of this came together, just visit my blog

MDF Tag with Tim Holtz Wildflower stamps and dies, distress crazing medium and distress crayons. By Nikki Acton - Addicted to Art.
My MDF tag features Tim Holtz products new and old - crazing collage medium, wildflower dies and stamps, mini tattered florals and the fab new words design tape. Do pop over to Addicted to Art for all the details.

Oh how I love Tag Fridays!  I had a wonderful time playing with some new to me Tim Holtz dies and embossing folders and combined them with some tried and true favourites.  I've a few step out photos on my blog on how I created it, hope you can stop by for a look.

I always love our AVJ Tag Friday as it is a good excuse to make my tag from bits and pieces left over from other projects and which never seem to get put away! I am sure you will recognise a few of them! Hop on over to my blog if you would like more details.

What I love about Tag Friday is that we can cre8 whatever we like. Come by my blog here to see how I made this fun tag.  Would you believe that lovely flower is made from baby wipes that were dried after using them for clean up.

Like many of the other Creative Guides I've been giving those new Distress Oxides a work out in combination with some new stencils and Paper Dolls. It's all part of a much bigger project that will be unveiled to you all very soon. For the time being there's a chance to see the tags (more than one!) on my blog and a sneak peek of their eventual home on my blog.

Wow what an incredible variety of styles using so many different products and techniques, I hope you enjoy looking at them and popping over to leave some love for everyone.


It's incredible we are celebrating our third birthday.
As a special part of our celebrations we thought you might like to share in the fun and join in with Tag Friday and of course it's very special to those of you who read our posts and share our love of this creative Vintage Journey. I have added a linky below so you can link a tag to us, it's only open for a week and ends just before the new challenge starts a week today. There's a little prize for someone chosen by Random Org, just a little "Thank You" for sharing your creative talent with us and stopping by to leave comments and support us every month.

It's the Movers and Shapers Mini Bird and cage by Tim Holtz.

We look forward to seeing what you share and don't forget there will be a fifth Destination Inspiration post on Monday still using the current contents of our travelling bag.

Have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guide xxx

Monday 27 March 2017

Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal 4

Welcome fellow travelers, here we are at Terminal 4.  It has been quite the adventure this month traveling along with Astrid, Julia, Alison, and now me, S@ndy.  With Spring just around the corner, I'm happy to bring you a project I created using all the wonderful items found in the travel bag.  They are:
Acrylic Paint
Layering Stencil
Turquoise or Teal
I must confess, I got to use some of my favorite colors, including orange.  So here we go -
Begin with a 5" X 7" canvas board - cover with gesso and then paint with Dina Wakley (DW) Media Turquoise Acrylic Paint.
Using a Tim Holtz (TH) Layering Stencil on the corners of the canvas - dab DecoArt Media, Cobalt Teal Hue through stencil. 
Cut 9 Dandelions from the Elizabeth Craft Designs (ECD), Dandelion Fluff die.  Color with medium of your choice, Copic pens were used here. You could also use colored cardstock for the Dandelions if you decide you do not want to color them.
When Dandelions are prepared, stack 3 together with the back layer slightly higher. 
Die cut some branches and color as desired, ECD Leafy Branch 5.  2 of each were used on this project.
Using tissue tape, TH was used here, make 2 rows across canvas.
Place more tape at top of canvas cutting the end in a fishtail design.
Place branches and Dandelions as desired.  Wrap TH idea-ology twine around base and tie in a bow.
Cut apart the rest of the branches and place on board, glue in place.
For finishing touches, I edged with DW Lime paint and then splattered with the Teal Hue that was watered down. Wonderful Life is a Remnant Rub from TH.
Spring will be here soon and I'm looking forward to those bright sunny days.
Have a great week,

Friday 24 March 2017

I can't wait to introduce you to ...........

Welcome everyone, I am so excited to be able to introduce you to the very lovely and amazing ...........

Eileen Hull.

Eileen agreed to be our AVJ Guest Creative Guide for March and it is such a pleasure to have her here. Without a do let's go see what Eileen has made for us all.


I was very honored to be asked to join A Vintage Journey for their birthday celebration. It’s always a treat to see what Brenda and her talented team creates! 

The Wild Roses Journal I made was a fun experiment. My friend Ann Butler has a line of iridescent paints with Earth Safe Finishes and I had been waiting for a chance to use them. I decided to make a book using my new Sizzix Journal die, being released any day now! This is already one of my favorite dies because it is a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your style on it.

I started by running the die through the machine with mat board twice- cutting two covers, latches, labels and tabs (I wound up only using the covers on this project). The Journal is a ScoreBoards die which means it is specially designed to cut and score thick material like matboard and chipboard- anything up to 1/16”. I love mat board because it is so sturdy and the smooth surface accepts inks, paints, and mists really well. 

I laid my two covers out and treated the surface of the mat board with Earth Safe Finishes Gel Medium. On top of that I dry brushed Lagoon and Limelight Iridescents on both sides of the covers. Off to a good start! Then I spread some Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste over a floral Prima stencil and let that dry.

While the covers were drying, I decided to make my 3D flowers. I used the Heart & Soul Flower, Spring Leaves and new Stitchy Flowers and cut stacks of them from crinoline, coffee filters and felt. I layered them and secured the centers with a brad. Then starting with the inside petals, I scrunched each one into the flower center until all were wadded up and looking quite unremarkable. Then for the fun- fluffing! Next thing I knew there were a bunch of nice fluffy flowers. I colored some of them with sprays I had made from my Clearsnap ColorBox Blends ink and left a couple just plain white. I also inked the leaves and set them aside. 

Next I added gold Deco Art Metallic Lustre Wax Finish on top of the Journal cover, using a piece of dry wall tape as a stencil. I dusted some gold metallic powder on top of the whole cover with a paintbrush to make it sparkle. (We found this gigantic jar when we were going through my mother-in-law’s house after she died. I have no idea what it was meant to be used for).

Once the covers were dry, I glued the center tabs together to assemble the Journal cover, using binder clips to keep them together as they dried. (You could also stitch the spine together or use hot glue.)

I decided to add a twisted wire word, and since it’s spring, “bloom” seemed appropriate. I used my Sizzix Twist & Style tool to twist some soft aluminum wire into a perfect coil, them shaped the word to fit across the Journal. It was stapled to the front of the Journal with the Tiny Attacher. 

I glued some white cheesecloth down and then placed the flowers on the bottom of the Journal.

Still needed some additional elements though… lately I have been finding mismatched vintage earrings and bracelets in thrift stores and adding them to my boxes and books. So I went to a jar of bling I had recently acquired and added a gold leaf pin. I noticed that a few rhinestones were missing- no matter… there were extra crystal beads in the jar too. I glued the crystals over the gaps and it looked fine. I also found a library file card for an artistic work called “Wild Roses”. It seemed to be the perfect addition along with two gold letter “r’s” (for roses!).

My friend Jenny Marples had used some kraft packing paper to create inserts for a Journal she had made and I really liked how that looked. So thanks Jenny- I borrowed your idea :-) I crumpled a large sheet of brown kraft paper, smoothed it out and folded and cut the sheet into pages 8 1/2” x 8”. I folded the signature in half and sewed down the center on my sewing machine.

Now it was time to add the gold metallic elastic to the book. I wove it from the inside of the cover through the top left hole, then through the top right hole, brought it down through the bottom right hole and through the bottom left hole, and formed a rectangle with the elastic. The elastic should be tied so there is enough tension to keep the inserts in the book but not so tight there is no give.

The pages have such a cool feel to them as you page through the book! I haven’t had time to write in it yet, but my plan is to gesso the pages and use them to practice my lettering in.

Thanks so much for letting me be part of your crafty community- Happy Birthday, A Vintage Journey! Best wishes for many more :-)


Wow What a fabulous journal Eileen with beautiful colours and embellishments, perfect as a practice book for your lettering. I think so many of us are looking forward to when the die for this journal will be available - hopefully very soon now. 
Thank you again for taking time out in your busy schedule to make this project we really appreciate it.

Look out everyone in your local stockists for the die being on the shelves or ready for you at your favourite on-line store. 


Don't forget our current 'All Aboard' challenge is still running and we've had lots of lovely entries - are you one of them?

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides. xxx

Monday 20 March 2017

Destination Inspiration - Terminal 3

Hello everyone.  Alison here, arriving at Terminal 3 of Destination Inspiration.  Just to remind you, here are the contents of the travel bag for this month:
Substrate - canvas
Colour - teals/turquoises
Product - acrylic paint
Technique - layering stencils

And here's the 7 x 5 inch canvas board which I produced using those contents...

Generally, the projects which the Creative Guides come up with are all really different - amazingly so, given we're all working with the same basic contents - but this time there is some surprising overlap with one of my team-mates.

I was surprised and amused when I saw Julia's beautiful project last week.  In essence it's not anything like my project, but not only did we pick the same main stencil to work with (what are the chances, with so many to choose from?)...

... but there are also those three points of visual stimulation - small circles in dark brown.  Hers are buttons and mine are screw heads, but still!

I guess somewhere we were sharing a wavelength!  But back to the matter in hand.  I used some of Seth Apter's Wood Chips for this piece - the long, elegant frame and panel, layered to create dimension.

As you can see, the basic layout was simple, but then I went through a number of versions of the stencilled background before I was happy to continue.  Thankfully, there's still plenty of canvas texture even though I painted over it all multiple times!

I ended up liking the scumbled look on the right, to which I added some Broken China DI through Tim Holtz's Nordic stencil.  I clear embossed it in places for a touch of light-reflectivity.

Over that I layered Tando's mini clock stencil...

... and added some detail stamping with one of Andy Skinner's industrial stamps as well as some splatter, and finally I had a background I was happy to go ahead with!

After that it was all lots of fun.  I layered up plenty of paint on Seth's Wood Chips, some in his own Fresco paint colours, some not.

And I added some stamping too - more of Andy's stamps, some stamped in Aquamarine Archival and some in Snowflake Fresco paint.

There's some Rose Quartz Treasure Gold in there somewhere too, just adding a little glint to those fantastic rugged edges.

The frame and panel support the photo of the boy and his dog - for some reason it's often little boys who trigger the "Lost and Found" words for me... it's why I tried so hard to get that particular stencil into the mix originally, I think.  There's clearly some sort of connection in my brain.

But in the absence of the stencil, I found a great substitute in the form of the Idea-ology Quote Chips.  I've inked them and added just a touch of the Rose Quartz around the edges.

I really love this new way of adding words to projects - they have great presence and solidity, which gives the words weight and power within whatever you are making.

I added some extra stamping to the background with the same industrial stamp, but this time in Aquamarine Archival ink to echo the stamping on the Wood Chips.

I used some of the new Idea-ology Design Tapes to add background detail.

And the rusty wire around the Photobooth photo gives a grungy dimensional finale to the framing structures.

Then it was about final touches...  I added some turquoise glass crystals at various points around the frames.

They're from a certain Swedish furniture store, and I think they're actually intended to go in vases with dried flowers or something.  They catch the light beautifully.

The trio of screw heads (Calico Craft Parts lightly altered with some ink and Treasure Gold for a slightly metallic look) allow the eye to travel around the canvas spotting extra details.

So from a slightly sticky start, I ended up really enjoying myself with this, and shopping my stash too (those glass crystals have been awaiting an appearance for at least three years!).

Thanks so much for pausing with me at Destination Inspiration.  Another of the Creative Guides will be along next Monday so come and see what they create with their travel bag contents.

I hope you're inspired to come and play along in our birthday challenge this month.  Brenda's inviting us "All Aboard!" for an anything goes theme, and we'd love you to come and join us on the journey.  Happy crafting all!

Alison x