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 19 October 2018

Autumn Splendor All Purpose Card Tutorial

Welcome aboard for this month's challenge tutorial post! It's Sara Emily (sarascloset) here to take you step by step through the creation of my inspiration piece for this month's current challenge, Autumn Splendor.

With the glorious colours of fall it would be oh so nice to see some falling leaves, pumpkins, acorns or any other favourite images that brings fall to mind. Just remember to create your project in our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.

 I was a little short on time this month, so I decided to use up a few things I already had on my desk. These two strips of kraft card stock embossed with Tim Holtz Lumber 3D embossing folder worked perfectly for a base. I simply painted them using Ground Espresso paint using the foam top, which leaves the paint mostly on the raised portions.

 I glued the pieces to a second card to make the base layer and trimmed to the size I wanted. I blended with Ground Espresso ink.

To make the focal panel, I used the old iron off embossing technique and Tim Holtz Nature's Wonders leaf stamps.

Using my stamp platform, I inked the sumac leave cluster with embossing ink and stamped repeatedly for each leaf to get really good coverage.

I covered my card with white embossing powder, shook off the excess and heated just until melted. If you heat too much, the lift technique will not work nearly as well.

Next, blend with chosen Distress Oxide inks, and wipe from the embossed areas.

Fold a piece of plain kraft paper over the completed panel to cover it entirely. I have a roll of kraft wrapping paper that works perfectly for this; it's a little on the heavier side. Turn iron on high and iron over the kraft. I keep a travel iron just for crafting, but there are craft irons on the market, or you could use your regular iron.

Here is a photo showing the ink removed from the blue panel to the kraft. I may just use that kraft on another project.

I inked a maple leaf stamp from the same set with two Archival inks and stamped on the panel.

I used the script from Tim's Entomology set and Forest Moss ink for some background stamping. The ink is supposed to be resisted by the little bit of embossing that is left on the panel. I think I may have ironed too hard, or perhaps I didn't heat the powder enough, because that didn't happen in this case. I inked only portions of the unmounted stamp, and then 'rolled' the stamp over the panel, so the stamping is random.

To finish the panel, I blended with Forest Moss ink, heavier on the edges, working lighter toward the center. I don't have a process photo of it, but then I splashed the panel with a little water and dried with my heat tool to get some variation in color. I also splattered on watery Ground Espresso ink with my splatter brush.

Now onto the leaves. I die cut a couple of the leaves using Tim's Skeleton Leaves from Classic Kraft Stock and sanded them fairly heavily.

I added color back in using Distress crayons and heated to melt the color into the card stock.

 I stamped scrap vanilla card with both Ground Espresso Distress ink and Potting Soil Archival inks using a few more of the leaves from Nature's Wonders. I colored them with a water brush and various Distress inks and fussy cut.

To give the leaves dimension, I wet the backs, and shaped them with my flower shaping tools. These consist of a foam pad insert from an costume jewelry box and a swizzle stick. LOL!

For a finishing touch to my card, I painted this sweet pumpkin charm from The Funkie Junkie Boutique. The 'wood' panel was adhered to a card blank cut from Distress Heavy Stock and the blue panel was adhered using adhesive foam to pop it up a bit.

The leaf cluster was assembled, along with dyed seam binding and some flowers from my stash. I thought it needed just a bit of white in the arrangement, and I found the embossed and crackled Laurel Impresslit I had rejected from another project.

Thank you so much for joining me for this tutorial. You still have plenty of time to join in our Autumn Splendor challenge and you can get all the details HERE along with some fabulous inspiration from the Creative Guides. You have until November 2 to link your project. We look forward to seeing what you create! And please stop back next week, when Autumn will be back with another card tutorial to tempt you with.

Happy Crafting!
Sara Emily


  1. This is stunning Sara! I love the gorgeous mix of colour and the wonderful design. Thank you for sharing all the fabulous techniques used for this amazing card! hugs xx

  2. Yes I had to come see - you are so clever -- thanks for the tutorial!
    Sandy xx

  3. What a beautiful card Sara, with its bright blue background those Autumnal elements look magnificent layered on top. I love your transfer technique a real keeper and I have to agree a travel iron is a must in the craft room.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Creative wishes Tracey x

  4. So lovely to see the steps leading towards your fabulous inspiration card, Sara Emily. I love those vivid blues and the great variations of the leaf stamping - altogether delightful.
    Alison x

  5. This is such a gorgeous card Sara with those wonderful colour tones and it is lovely to see how you brought it all together - great tutorial! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. I really loved your card at the beginning of the month, it is an absolute stunner! It is lovely to see how it all came together. The blue background is just stunning against all the other elements and sets everything off so beautifully. And the leaves ....... wonderful !!!! A great tutorial of a wonderful project. Thank you for sharing it with us. Jennie x

  7. A fabulous in depth tutorial , Sara. Really enjoyed seeing and reading the creative story behind your Gorgeous card . Thanks for sharing x

  8. Absolutely stunning card, Sara Emily!! Your tutorial is fabulous!! I'm bookmarking for future reference!! I love the lift technique you used!! The colors and design are gorgeous!! Love this!!

  9. Such a beautiful card Sara Emily with wonderful contrasts of colours and textures. Autumn is definitely here xxx

  10. Sara Emily, this card just sings! The colors are perfect for captured the bright October blue of the sky perfectly! Thanks for reminding me about this fun technique...I haven't done it in ages. It's still fabulous. Your leaf cluster is the grace note to this symphony of beauty! Thanks for sharing the great step out! Hugs!

  11. Hello new blogging friend. I am on a search for inspiration. I have a wall and a drawer filled with stamps that I don't use anymore, but want to get back using them. Your blog is certainly filled with creative bliss and just what I need to get me started. I'm so happy that I found you.
    Your newest follower,
    Connie :)

  12. Thank you for these really kind comments, ladies! And welcome to Connie as our newest follower at A Vintage Journey! We can't wait to see what you create, and welcome you to join our monthly challenges! Hugs!

  13. So enjoyed reading your post. What a creative and fabulous project and love the lift off technique with the iron. Amazing inspiration, thank you x.

  14. I loved seeing this project come to life. I imagine how you played at each stage in the process and marvel at the result! So beautiful my friend! Hugs, Autumn

  15. Fabulous Sara Emily! Love your background technique and wonderful embellishments! xxx