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 26 February 2018

February Destination Inspiration - Pulling Into Terminal 4

Hello and thank you for stopping by, Deb here with you today for our fourth and final stop on February's Destination Inspiration journey.  If you missed the first three posts from Nikki, Annie and Amanda, our travel bags this month were filled with the following supplies:

Product - Paint
Technique - Crackle
Colour - Black
Substrate - Tag

This month's contents were all old friends to me and I was excited to play with them to see what I could create.  I have to admit I didn't start with a clear concept, I just pulled out my supplies and started to play and here is what I ended up with.

I have some pictures of how my Blackbird Fly tag came to be, read on for the how to.

I started with white cardstock that I cut into a #10 tag and painted the entire surface with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint.  After the cracks formed I covered the entire surface with Carbon Black DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paint, wiping it back as it dried to reveal the crackle.

Next I stenciled Ranger Transparent Gloss Texture paste through StencilGirl Products 'Black Bird In Trees' stencil over the crackled tag.

A coat of Golden Titan Buff Fluid Acrylics paint was then added overtop the gloss texture paste stenciling and wiped back as it dried to reveal the stenciled pattern.

I wanted to add some more crackled elements so prepared two more #8 tags with a couple of different preparations.  The top tag had Weathered Wood Crackling medium applied overtop some Titan Buff acrylic paint with a top coat of Carbon Black.  The bottom tag was coated with Ranger Opaque Crackle Texture paste that was tinted with Black Soot Distress Reinker and then after it had dried and cracked the tag was inked with Black Soot Distress Archival ink.

In keeping with the avian theme of the stenciled background, a bird was die cut with Sizzix's Birds die from the DecoArt Crackling Medium tag and Tim Holtz's Bird Branch die was used to die cut a branch from the Ranger Crackle Paste tag.

The 'Field Notes' Quote Chips were inked with Antique Linen and Black Soot Distress ink.

And some of the wonderful lyrics from 'Blackbird' were typed out on the computer and adhered to a scrap of black cardstock for a bit more substance.

The song lyrics prompted the idea of stars in the 'dark black night' so I added dots of embossing ink with Ranger's Clear Embossing pen and then sprinkled on silver embossing powder.

And finally, I coloured a Charmed Adornments charm with Pitch Black alcohol ink, added a small Mirrored Heart to the bezel center and filled it in with Glossy Accents glue.

A few fibers from my stash were threaded through the punched hole in the tag and the heart charm attached with a jump ring and small black safety pin.  The song lyrics were cut out, inked and adhered at the top of the tag.

The blackbird and branch were adhered in the center of the tag;

and the 'field notes' Quote Chips added to the bottom left.

You can catch a glimpse of the silver embossed 'stars' below.

Love how the crackle on the tag background is still visible through the gloss texture paste stenciling.

Hope you've enjoyed seeing how my Destination Inspiration project came together and since this is our last stop this month, here's a recap of all of the projects, I always love how we all come up with such different creations given the same ingredients!


Thanks for stopping by today and hope that you will consider entering our current 'Melt It!' challenge, you have until March 1st to get your melt on!

Deb xo

Friday 23 February 2018

A Vintage Journey continues into Year 5

Welcome everyone.

Today I want to give you a 'Heads Up' on our Birthday Challenge that will posted next week, we do hope you will come and join us for the celebrations. 
Can you believe we have been setting challenges and sharing inspiration posts since the beginning of March 2014? Over those four years we have stayed true to our initial focus of creating and promoting projects associated with the quality of aging and along the way we have widened that somewhat to include not only vintage but shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres as well. We don't stand still and always are looking to mix things up and keep our challenges and posts fresh and inspiring. The talented team of Creative Guides work together extremely closely to challenge themselves and each other to stimulate, influence and motivate us all to create incredibly exciting and impressive projects week by week and month on month.

So to celebrate four years and move into our fifth year we have looked to weave and fuse some new ideas into our monthly structure to build a renewed and original framework for us to continue to bring you great themes, ideas, tutorials and inspiration. For the next 12 months we will be posting only on Fridays - but we will still bring our expertise, talents and creativity in its widest sense.

The timetable will now be -
The first Friday in the month - Week 1 - the new challenge will be introduced by the host Creative Guide for the month. Other team members will join in by sharing their interpretation of that theme and provide the inspiration for you to work with that focus and enter the challenges as you have always done.

The second Friday in the month - Week 2 - will be the 'Winner's' post. There will not be a prizewinner any more so we are working with a 'Just For Fun' challenge but we will continue to choose our Top 3 Pinworthy Mention projects from the previous months entries and pin them to our own Pinterest Pinworthy Board and Pinworthies will also receive an AVJ Pinworthy badge.

The third Friday in the month - Week 3 - the host Creative Guide for the month will share a tutorial post and provide the process steps to a project linked to the challenge theme. It might be the project they shared in week 1 or something completely new.

The fourth Friday of the month - Week 4 - will see a 'Creative Cardmaking' theme where another Creative Guide will share their ideas for putting together a card focusing on our preferred genres - vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

Where there is a fifth Friday in the month - Week 5 - we will continue to share our Tag Friday inspirations for you. This is a favourite of us all where we design and make and just go where our muse takes us, no focus, no constraints and no preset ideas. It's a wonderful opportunity to 'play' to our hearts content.

So there we have it, a new structure, new ideas and there will be 12 completely new challenges for you.

We all look forward to another happy and creative year of you and us sharing ideas and projects together and challenging each other in the best ways possible.

See you next week for a new beginning and another step on this amazing voyage of discovery. As we said at the beginning of year 1 there is no map just lots of tours, excursions and adventures of exploration, stretching the mind and imagination.

hugs to you all.
 Brenda and all the Creative Guides. xxx

Monday 19 February 2018

February Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal #3

Hello Everyone and Welcome

Amanda (ink-a-pink) here today, greeting you at Terminal #3 of this months Destination Inspiration journey.
Lets begin with a quick recap of what's in our travel bag to create with:
Product: Paint
Technique: Crackle
Colour: Black
Substrate: Tag

That's what I would call a 'happy' bag of goodies!
It's time to get messy and create my textural, crackled tag.

The tag is covered with plaster moulding to create all that fabulous deep texture.
Warning: Though effective it is quite messy!!

The Tag
I roughly sketched out a circular area in the centre of the tag that would remain free of plaster as this would be the flat space in which I would position my focal feature later. I then applied the plaster moulding to the tag.

Here's how:
Prep a bowl of warm water and cut lengths off the plaster roll. Alternately you can cut as you go, like I did and just 'embrace the 'messy'.

Working with one length of plaster at a time place into the warm water for a few seconds and remove. Don't drench or soak or the plaster will just become a 'gungy' mess that's hard to work. You will see and feel the plaster sheet 'soften' and become more pliable.

See the difference: dry (to the left), wet (to the right)

Apply the wet plaster sheet to your substrate either by keeping it flat for an even texture or by laying it down unevenly with lots of lumps and bumps to create deeper texture - as I did with my tag . Repeat the process until you are happy with the depth of texture you have achieved.
The plaster will set hard almost immediately but will need to dry thoroughly as it will still hold moisture from the water.
I actually altered my tag with plaster mould and stained it up some time at the end of last year for another project I had in mind at that time so I was at all ready to re paint my tag and get crackling.
I re-painted with a couple of coats of black Acrylic paint. Once dry I applied a layer of matte medium to give added adhesion for the crackle paint that was coming next.

 Though the instructions say to apply the Crackle paint with a soft brush I applied it with both a spatula and my fingers as I find both easier to use with this type of medium. As with most crackle mediums crackle paint is no different - the size of the cracks varies based on the thickness of application .
I always leave crackle mediums to air dry as personally I think allowing the process to happen naturally creates better results .

Once the cracks formed they seemed to take on a creamy yellow hue- I guess some of the colours of the stain (oranges and yellows) I had used when I initially coloured the plastered tag last year had permeated through!

Not really a problem as after applying another coat of matte medium to seal the crackle I applied another coat of Black Acrylic paint to cover and then used silver gilding wax to enhance the cracks and texture.
Lets get you up close to see

all the peaks and troughs

and all those crevices and cracks!

The Focal Feature
I die cut a large circle, painted it with black Acrylic paint and stamped onto it using an Andy Skinner crackle stamp.

I die cut a few smaller circles adhered them together to give sturdiness and painted them black.
I used the same crackle technique as I had for the tag:
coat with matte medium,
apply crackle paint quite thickly with spatula, leave to dry,
seal crackle with matte medium.

I adhered the cracked circles on top of each other and topped with an Tim Holtz Ideology Ornate plate that I altered with black alcohol ink touched up with silver gilding wax.
 An Ideology Quote chip sits atop with silver brads to fasten.

This was then adhered into the centre of the tag with foam pads and 2 screw eyes were nestled into the top and bottom to finish off.

As for the tag tie, well, nothing I had in my stash seemed to look right (and it has to be right) so until I find that certain something it will remain as is.
I do hope you like my textural crackled tag -I had a great time creating it!

Thank you for accompanying me on the 3rd leg of this months Destination Inspiration. I hope I and my fellow Creative Guides, Nikki (Terminal 1) and Annie (Terminal 2) have offered you some creative inspiration. Be sure to pop back next Monday when a fellow Creative Guide will be ready to greet you at Terminal 4, the final stop of this months journey.  

Our latest challenge 'Melt It' is currently underway and we hope you will be able to join us . 
We  always look forward to seeing all your entries. 
Details and inspirational projects can be found here .
Wishing you all a great week 
Happy Crafting 

Friday 16 February 2018

Melt It! Pinworthy Inspirations

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by, it's Deb with you today to share some amazing inspirational creations from our November Pinworthies, Jo of Let's Art Journal and Lys of Impression Scrap. They both made beautiful projects for our current Melt It! challenge, enjoy!


Hello everyone, I’m so excited to be here at A Vintage Journey as a Pinworthy Guest.

A little about me:
My name is Jo and I blog at Let’s Art Journal. I live by the sea in the North West of England with my hubby and I started Art Journaling just over 2 years ago as a way of expressing my life through words and pictures. I love using mixed media for all sorts of projects and I’m captivated by the variety of techniques and materials that can be used to create so many different styles of art. I’ve always been a creative person, and this has now become a passion of mine which I like to share with others.

I’m so glad that I found out about blog challenges like A Vintage Journey as I always have fun taking part, they provide me with so much inspiration and it’s a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people too.

As I love using mixed media I chose to use the Mixed Media Style to create a heart decoration for each of the four seasons which are inspired by the Melt It! challenge. I had so much fun melting embossing powder for the backgrounds and also melting embossing enamels for the birds on my Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter decorations (grin!)

The front and back of each heart tag is stamped with a different design for each season using various stamp sets, embossing ink and white embossing powder which I melted with a heat gun. The hearts are coloured using inks and decorated with paper flowers, die cut foliage using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and some maple leaves; they are coloured using Aqua markers.

The birds are covered with embossing ink and either Aged Hunter, Aged Silver, Aged Marine or Aged Scarlet embossing enamels which I melted using my heat gun. Embellishments include bead flowers, Ranger Stickles, some stamped wording, paper twine, threaded beads and some ribbons.

If you would like to see how they all came together, the full process is detailed on my blog here, along with a list of the materials that I used.  Thanks so much, I really enjoyed joining you today to Melt It! I hope you are inspired by this month’s challenge too and are able to join in the fun!

Thank you, Jo x

Bonjour! What a pleasure to be once more invited on AVJ, among this fabulous team, thanks so much!

I’m Lys and I live in a village in south west of France. After crafting had been here all my life, I discovered scrapbooking and built pages to cherish my family memories, then I jumped into Mixed Media some years ago. I found in my daily life many sources of inspiration, but most of them come from my sensations and feelings. My full time job – psychologist- makes me explore creative resources of people I meet and who need help, but I also need to express myself through creations to keep my mind balanced!

This time it’s my youngest son who gave me the idea: he wished a phone charger stand. It’s not a creation, as I followed rather well a video tutorial, but when my son told me how the throne (of the Game of Thrones series) had been created, I thought it would perfectly fit the “Melt it!” theme Julia chose: the dragon Balerion forged it melting with his fire the swords of defeated enemies.

Hundreds of swords (they actually are cocktail pics) are glued on a base made with foamboard coated with a black plastic sheet.

Many of them are melted with my heat tool, to fit the shape of the throne.

Then all is painted in black, and metallic wax is brushed on the surface.

Please come see the details on my blog

Thanks so much to the team for the invitation, and have fun melting it!  A bientôt!


All I can say is WOW! Thank you so much Jo and Lys for sharing your beautiful projects with us all and I hope that they have inspired you to join in our Melt It! challenge, you have until March 1st to link up your projects so get melting!

Deb and the Creative Guides

Monday 12 February 2018

Destination Inspiration - Arriving at Terminal #2

Hi Everyone.....Hope you are all well and are looking forward to your journey. Annie  here as your hostess today and I am taking you on a  long journey so please grab a cuppa as there's lots to see before we reach the end of this post !!!  
The contents of February's Travel Bag are as follows:
Product -Paint
Technique - Crackle
Colour - Black

Below is the finished project where you can see lots of crackles and painted layers of deliciousness :-)
I really was not sure where I was going with this project and although I did have some kind of idea...I did go totally off piste from my original thoughts !! 
 Hence I painted 3  #8 Manila Tags  in Black Soot Distress Paint !!! ( always handy for future creations)
 The three Pediments from Tim Holtz Sizzix Die were cut then painted in Black Soot Distress Paint
 Once the paint dried Decoart Crackle medium was applied
 Whilst the crackle medium was drying I applied Finnabair's 3D Matte Gel to an Idea-Ology Glass Bottle, using my fingers.
 When the Crackle medium was almost dry Decoart Chalk Paint was applied and you can see the amazing crackles appearing almost immediately.
 Similarly, Chalk Paint in Rustic was applied to the Pendants die cuts.
 Whilst the tags/pediments were drying I took a piece of cardboard from packaging, tearing it around the edges before placing a small square die on top. You can see below that the die did not cut right through, which was great as it gave me a lovely frame and backdrop for my UTEE heart.
 Some Decoart Vintage Wash Paint was applied to the cardboard, followed by a wash of Lace chalk paint and some splatters of the same paint
 Apologies that the photograph below is a bit fuzzy, but you can just make out that a layer of Tim Holtz Crazing Medium was applied over the 3D Matte Gel as I wanted to see if it would work on the glass.
 Once the crazing medium was dry Lace  Chalk paint was applied then some Decoart antiquing cream was applied using a brush.
 Once the Antiquing cream was dry I wiped with a slightly damp cloth it looked amazing and yes ...there are very subtle cracks...YAY!!!
Some of Tim Holtz Wild Flowers were die cut and coloured with various DI's using finger daubers.
 To go with my framed Heart I decided to create a very wee (small) journal of "Love"
after all it is Valentine's Day on the 14th February !!!  Where is time will soon be Christmas  again!!!  How many Weeks ???? Okay I'll stop!!
Taking a piece of Kraft card I rubbed in a mix of Glycerin and water  on both sides. This technique creates a faux leather appearance (details  of this technique can be found on You Tube) 
 I then placed the kraft piece in an embossing folder, which I ran through my Big Shot
 Once embossed the journal was inked with Vintage Photo DI and then sprayed with Crafter's Companion Spray & really does look amazing :-)
 Taking a piece of card to fit inside my wee journal I folded it like you would a fan, creating mountain and valley folds. Scrap papers were adhered along with some die cut heart and stars/washi tape. I will write a personal message later. 
 Both sides of the journal pages
 Journal all tied up with Bakers Twine
 The edges of the tag were inked with Black Soot DI then the pediments were adhered with foam take to create dimension. UTEE heart taking centre stage within the frame ( I made this when creating my project for the current Melt It challenge, which can be found HERE)
Some lace from my stash, a chit chat sticker and a little button with twine now complete the piece, which is now ready for My Valentine x
Thank You so much for joining in with me on this amazing journey. I certainly had lots of fun and I hope you have  enjoyed this Destination post too x One of my fellow Creative Guides will be starting a new journey next Monday19th February and I hope you can join in x
I mentioned Julia's "Melt It" challenge earlier , which remains open until Thursday 1st March  (St Davids Day in the UK) there's still lots of time to join in and we always enjoy visiting your blogs to view your amazing entries. (Link is on the sidebar)

Take Care & Happy Crafting
Annie xx