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 22 September 2017

Introducing a very (very) special guest - Seth Apter

Hi everyone, Nikki here with our monthly invited Guest Designer post. It is my great pleasure to welcome and introduce

  Seth Apter

 I am sure he doesn't need much introduction as his style of mixed media art has captured so many of us over the last few years. I have had the pleasure to meet Seth a couple of times and attend his workshops in the UK and not only is he an amazing tutor but fun, charming and genuine.

Seth is a designer for PaperArtsy (stamps and paint), Spellbinders (dies), Stencil Girl (stencils) and Impression Obsession (stamps). His artwork is frequently displayed in exhibitions and he also published author.

Seth is a master of layers, texture and paint. His mixed media style often incorporates found objects - so who better to provide a masterclass on Altered Art - our current challenge theme at A Vintage Journey.


Hi everybody. Seth Apter here. I am thrilled to be a Guest Creative Guide at A Vintage Journey. I have always loved the work shown here and am now happy to be a part of the family.
I am a mixed media artist from New York City with a passion for found object art. I love giving new life to old things. In addition to making art, I spend my time teaching mixed media workshops and designing art and craft products with a number of different companies. My work has been seen in multiple exhibitions, books and magazines. You can learn more about me at my website or my blog.

One of my main activities is searching for supplies to use in my mixed media art. Although anything goes, I tend to favor older, distressed objects. I feel that they already have a history, which automatically becomes part of my artwork. So many people (myself included) work to create a vintage look on new items but there is truly nothing like the look and feel of actual vintage.

Seth Apter 'Colors for China' -  Guest Creative Guide - A Vintage Journey
This piece, Colors for China, began like most of my work - with an object. Or in this case three objects. I have been hoarding holding on to a grouping of very old test tubes filled with paint made for china. 
These became the focal point that I built the entire piece around. I knew I wanted to add an actual frame around the tubes as a way to highlight these beauties and symbolically turn these vintage objects into art. I added one copper and one wooden frame, both vintage. 
Nearly all the materials in this piece, with the exception of the wood panel and a few metal embellishments, are salvaged. Some have been in my studio drawers for years, patiently waiting their turn to be used in the right artwork.
To me, creating found object art is like completing a puzzle. While many wrong answers are tried along the way, you ultimately have to find the right pieces, many of which are not meant to work together, and place them in such a way as to make one seamless creation.


Amazing! What a fantastic creation full of history, detail and texture. I count seven layers that Seth has taken and salvaged or altered in some way and then worked his magic to generate this perfect composition. 
You can see more of Seth's artwork on his website - The Altered Page

Seth - thank you so much for being our guest this month! 

We are back again on Monday with the next Destination Inspiration stopover. There are a couple of weeks left to join in our Altered Art challenge - with your chance to win a Simon Says Stamp voucher or to be selected as one of our Pinworthies.

Have a great (and hopefully crafty) weekend
Nikki and The AVJ Creative Guides


  1. Seth never fails to delight with his wonderful projects crammed with interest. Thanks Seth!

  2. Fantastic creation! I love how the elements have been built on each other! The vintage objects (frame, piece of yardstick, paint bottles) are really fabulous and I would like to learn about their stories!

  3. Oh Seth this is simply brilliant!! I love, love, love those test tubes, the colours are stunning, who would not love china coloured like that. The rest of the piece just makes for the perfect surrounding for these beauties, stunning work!! Thank you so very much for taking the time to create this amazing piece of art for us!!!

  4. Oh wow Seth, this is a stunning piece of art! The old paint filled test tubes are fantastic and sit beautifully on the corrugated card, and the leather look background really shows them off to their best advantage. I just love the broken ruler and all of those wonderful metal embellishments too! Thank you so much for being our Guest with this gorgeous creation! Anne x

  5. Hi Seth and welcome. I love your vintage piece, the tubes for the focal image is perfect, nested against all that fabulous texture. Love the metal touches, a great contrast against the corrugated card. Fabulous piece and thanks for joining us Seth. Tracy x

  6. Welcome to the fam! :) It's so good to read a little more about you and understand your thoughts involved in your art process. These little vials of pigment are the most amazing focal element and have really taken stage in your gorgeous vintage layers. As a hoarder of old frames, I'm so drawn to your use of them here. The broken ruler is a favorite detail, along with the bits of color against the browns. Tremendous inspiration! - Autumn

  7. Such a lovely guest spot you have created for us Seth, love everything about this piece. It is clean and simple yet has that Vintage vibe that we all love. Welcome!! S@ndy

  8. Seth, this is truly spectacular and what treasures those vintage test tubes filled with paint are, how I would love to know their story! You have showcased them flawlessly here, all of the elements you have so carefully curated are perfect and create a truly breathtaking piece of art. Thank you so much for joining us here at A Vintage Journey, what a treat it has been! Deb xo (and I echo Nikki's sentiments about what a wonderful person Seth is, the highlight of my trip to CHA 2017 was taking one of Seth's workshops with Sandy and Jenny, much fun was had by all!)

  9. Welcome to A Vintage Journey Seth, and thank you for sharing this beautiful and creative repurposed project! What a wonderful central focus those vintage vials are - bound with the wire, backed with the corrugated board and framed multiple times in so many different materials! What great inspiration to inspire us! Julia xx

  10. Welcome, Seth! How thrilling to have you here and to learn a little more about you! I can see we are kindred spirits for our love of crusty vintage finds. You have prepared a wonderful art piece based on those lovely vials! How fabulous that you have shared it with us here! Thank you so much for your hard work and inspiration!

  11. Such a stunning project Seth ! I love the fantastic colours and details with the framed copper and the texture of the cardboard then the frame, absolutely love the vials...amazing !!!

    So great to have you here with us at AVJ and I hope you can pop in again as I just love your work and the inspiration you share

    Best wishes
    Annie x

  12. Welcome! Seth. Its a real thrill to have you join us here today as our very (very) special Guest. Your 'Colours for China' is an incredible masterpiece that truly does justice to all those vintage objects giving them a new life through your faultless creativity .
    You never fail to inspire - thank you x

  13. Seth is always a Master at what he does, and it's a treat to see him in action. Bravo.