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).

The Creative Guides

We are a travelling group of guides who will lead you into known and unknown pastures and expeditions of revelation, sharing stories and insights into this vintage/shabby/mixed-media style that we love.

We hope you will be able to find some time to join us on this voyage of discovery to see more and to do more in this amazing world of art and craft that we are part of. There is no map just lots of tours, excursions and adventures of exploration, stretching the mind and imagination.

We are -

Alison (butterfly)
Words and Pictures
My creativity was never really on the visual side - I was more the words, music, books, theatre type. When I became a freelancer in Spring 2012 after eight years at the Royal Shakespeare Company as a Text and Voice Coach, it was supposed to give me more time for friends and family. I had no idea that within weeks I would be in thrall to a whole new creative passion - stamps/inks/paints/texture - you name it, I want to play with it... there's so much to learn, discover and explore.

Now I have to balance the two worlds - hence Words and Pictures. And it's pretty much all down to Tim Holtz and his stamps and Distress mediums - my first crafting love. Yup - another addict here... so much for friends and family!

I have been crafting for most of my life, although working, marriage and a family stopped my crafting for many years. I contracted a serious illness about 7 years ago which caused me to retire early. My Daughter in Law and I decided to make our own Christmas cards a few years ago and I have been 'hooked' ever since. Once I discovered Tim Holtz and his products there was no holding me back, I am now totally addicted! I would say that crafting has been a life saver for me and I cannot imagine my life without it now.

Curious & Crafty Treasures
I have been crafting for many years but once I started stamping/making cards around mid 90's it became an addiction. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that stamping would develop as it has over the last 10 years! Around 2004 I remember watching a well known shopping channel and there was a young man who inspired me with his enthusiasm for stamping and Ranger was Tim Holtz!! I purchased the DVD and Distress Embossing Powders and have been a huge fan since this time.

It's been amazing watching Tim and his products/projects grow. I adore his stamps and the Distress range of inks, paints, stains, glue mediums, tools etc and use them in all my crafty makes. Like most, my creative style has certainly evolved and I love vintage/grunge/mixed media. I joined blogland in 2012 and have never looked back, its great to share makes/tips/techniques and to be inspired by fellow crafters. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this wonderful Challenge Blog and Design Team and I look forward to sharing projects/techniques with all of you along the way. x

Astrid's Artistic Efforts
Art and craft have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, painting, drawing, knitting and dyeing wool have all been part of my creative repertoire. I have been paper crafting and stamping probably for about 10 years or so, but did not get seriously into it until about 2007.

Being a teacher by profession I received my first stamp, a box of embossing powers and embossing ink, as a Christmas present from a child in my class whose mum owned a rubber stamp shop. That was the beginning of a hobby that no doubt will last well into retirement! I have been a huge admirer of Tim Holtz and his products since I first discovered Distress Inks, so being part of this team is like a dream come true!

Bumblebees and Butterflies
I have designed and created things all my life even as a child in primary school I can remember designing patterns and images for my cross stitching, and it was my Mum who taught me how to knit and to use a sewing machine. As I got older I loved observational drawing and studied oil painting at college. As a teacher I loved taking my children out into the environment to draw and look for examples of art and architecture and we always made our own books to keep our topic work in. This kept me going through my teaching years as there wasn't much time to explore my creative side, but since retiring I have been able to have the luxury of designing, creating and making in my work room much more. I love all things Tim Holtz and my most favourite genres are vintage and shabby chic. I am looking forward to this next journey and so happy it's a vintage one.

Creativity is Contagious
Art makes me happy. It started with crayons and coloring books and has always been a part of who I am.

Although I don’t have degrees in art, I’m not convinced that most creativity comes from a book. I think, to a certain extent, it just “is”. Without regret, my family took priority over my artistic adventures for quite a while. Then, a few years ago, my daughter asked me to help her make a scrapbook as a shower gift. That was the rebirth of my creative journey. I can’t seem to get enough of learning and playing. Tim Holtz and his vintage style captured my heart. I am drawn to it because I think it reminds all of us of days gone by when we were children living in a much simpler world. It has such a nostalgic, calming effect and I adore creating vintage pieces that hopefully convey that gentle feeling. I am proud to be a Ranger U alumni and a member of this very talented design team.

My Corner of Heaven
Now medically retired, and crafting when mobility and dexterity allow, I started designing for the craft market in 2000 and brought the first commercial crafting CD to market on Ideal World in 2001. I did regular TV appearances on Ideal World and then Create and Craft and various exhibition workshops up until 2004 when my health stopped me. I continued designing CDs for Create and Craft until 2009 when I retired. Crafting has now returned to being a hobby and also a therapy for my hands and wrists, it remains an absolute passion

Live the Dream
I can't remember a time when I didn't craft - in particular cereal box handbags, slippers and dolls houses from an early age! I have always loved anything to do with paper and nine years ago was a founder member of Shetland Scrapbookers after a friend got a book for Christmas about scrapbooking and we were totally hooked. However, after discovering Tim Holtz and Ranger products a couple of years later life was never quite the same! I love all the wonderful techniques Tim shares with us and I love to use these in scrapbook layouts and mini books of my two lively grandchildren, as well as heritage photographs.

I am somewhat obsessed with making flowers, mainly in a shabby rose style and I am always trying to think of new ways to use Tim's dies to create different looks. I love the vintage style as I love crafting with lace, subtle colours and old style ribbons and buttons, and it is amazing how well they fit with my favourite distressed and inky look too. I am really excited to be part of this wonderful vintage journey with you all.

Pushing the right Buttons
I've been artistic and crafty all my life, sewing, drawing, stitching, sometimes for pleasure, often out of necessity. As a keen genealogist I needed to find a way of presenting my extensive family history research and discovered the joys of scrapbooking. One thing led to another and card making for friends and family soon took over. A persistent Hels Sheridan encouraged me to start a blog in April 2012, I discovered the world of Distress, and it all grew exponentially from there. As a qualified teacher I have a real passion for sharing techniques and ideas with anyone who'll listen! After all, isn't this about 'sharing the love


I was always encouraged to be creative from a very young age, my parents said I was great as a child as I would sit quietly for hours drawing, painting and cutting up! In fact looks like I was making something with my sock in the picture!!

Nowadays I work full time as a Textile Design & Development Manager working on commercial Interior projects and developing product collections, so I’m constantly being creative working with textures, design and colour which I love.

In my spare time, I enjoy all types of arts and crafts and working with multimedia and particularly altered art using paint, die cutting, stamps, using lots of colour, texture and experimenting with new techniques

A few years ago I discovered this amazing guy called Tim Holtz, I was so inspired and it got me back into crafting but in a different way, I loved this kind of mixed up vintage grungy style, amazing products, variety and attention to detail, and so adaptable for different styles and colour schemes
 I’m so pleased to be part of this team and looking forward to the future journeys


Juliz Design Post
My dad worked in the Merchant Navy and my earliest memories of starting to craft are on board the ships. We were lucky enough to go away a few times on trips to sea, taking with us school books and very little toys, my sister and I had to find things to amuse ourselves. I can remember my mum handing us a large pile of old A5 printed menu cards to play with. These fast became our favourite item, crafting houses with Snoopy on top, making cars, roads and shops. I guess this is probably why I like making 3D projects.
As an adult I dabbled in many crafts, but my love for paper was reignited about 9 years ago and finding Tim and his products gave me the confidence to express my art and craft in a whole new direction incorporating my love for Vintage and Shabby. I have been addicted ever since.
We should all believe in our dreams as becoming a Creative Guide is taking my Journey into a world where Dreams do Come True.

A2A - Addicted to Art
 As a child I loved anything to do with arts and crafts – colouring in those geometric colouring books for hours on end and drawing my childhood heroes from pictures out of my beloved scrapbooks. As I got older academia, sport and then work took over until about 7 years ago when I was made redundant and decided to go back to university to study Fine Art for 3 years. A friend introduced me to the world of card making, altered art and scrap booking last October (2013).

Since then I have become obsessed with all things crafty. Distress inks were one of my first purchases and since then my Tim Holtz range seems to grow weekly. I adore his techniques, products and passion. When I was invited to join the Vintage Journey team for a time I was honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside the other Creative Guides whose styles I adore and admire, focussing on the inspiration of Tim Holtz.

My“Crafty” Life On The Internet
I love art and crafting - always have. As a child I could sit and color for hours (I still enjoy it). When my grandmother first taught me how to sew I became interested in how things went together, I've been making things ever since. I like to see if I can figure out how things are made before I read the instructions or, in today’s world, see the video.

These days I am obsessed with all things paper, ink, stamped, distressed and vintage (thanks Tim). We spend our summers RVing, wandering aimlessly around our great country, where I get a chance to go to every flea market, antique and thrift shop in the area to find treasures. I have some pretty wonderful, silly and funny things in my stash that I bring out to use on my projects. I am happiest when I am creating something unique.

Terry's Work in Progress
The first time I touched a stamp was in the Summer of 2007. I had been invited to a Stampin Up workshop and my only thought was wasting a Sunday afternoon! I attended a few workshops here and there, but I still had very little interest in this hobby. Then I attended a stamping convention in 2008 and saw Mr. Holtz in action and fell in love with all things vintage, grungy and Tim! I found myself wanting to learn more, but there was nothing "Tim" going on in my area, so I learned on my own about this incredible inspiration and by 2010 became a real blogger. Let's just say a hobby I found interesting, but somewhat boring, has become a way of life and in many ways a lifesaver! 

I am a mum of three beautiful children, two boys and one little girl..aged 11, 9 and 4. I am married to my best friend and so much more.. I have always loved crafting and even from an early age was always creating in one way or another. My style has grown and changed and is still evolving but always present is my love for all things Tim, distress and steampunk.

I can still remember the first time I went to a stamping class and left armed with heat tool, stamps inks and powders and from that moment I was hooked!

I love tags and making dimensional pieces and am always learning from the talented places in blogland and love trying and developing new things! My love for all thing Tim Holtz, distress and vintage is my true passion and there is usually plenty of distress goodness and stamping involved. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this fab design team and am loving my creative journey .

So please step aboard and join the fun. Remember the quote from Ralph Waldo Emmerson?

Life is a journey, not a destination.


  1. I just happened across your web page and am so excited ! I love the vintage style, have got some bits and bobs in my stash, but it only comes out when someone shows me how to use it. There are no local places to go, as far as I am aware, to teach and stimulate me so am hoping I can join you in the journey. I started blogging last month and have also started tracing my family tree, like Jenny. I really enjoyed reading your profiles and hope your new venture will be sucessful and rewarding for you all. Best wishes. Fran x

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