Friday 30 November 2018

Tag Friday - Christmas Tag

It's another Tag Friday at A Vintage Journey and I am really starting to get into Christmas mode.
Here's my sample for today.

Process steps
1. Lightly paint tag with white gesso leaving some of the card showing through.
2. Using decoart media fluid acrylics mix a couple of watery colours and then dip and dry to create your first layer of colour. (I used raw umber and quinacridone red).
3. Repeat step 2 using titanium white to achieve a mottled effect.
4. Tear some tissue tape strips and add and lightly dry brush some gesso over them.
5. Machine stitch around the edges.
6. Mix some white modeling paste and white gesso together (approx half and half) and with a palette knife scrape it through a stencil, add some coloured distress glitter and leave to dry. (See Tim Holtz Holiday Hacks videos for a do it yourself hack). I used a coloured glitter that really didn't look right so out came the raw umber painted and they got painted.
7. Dribble a watery wash of a darker colour around the textures and dry.
8. Gather together collage elements including ephemera, metal embellishments, some die-cuts, words and paper doll.
9. Put the background layers of the collage together and glue them to each other. Add some machine stitching and then some foil to the edges. (I used versamark, sticky embossing powder and foil sheets).
10. Adhere the collage to the background, add the paper doll, embellishments and words.

Sometimes I plan out my steps before I start and have an idea of where the collage is going to go but as I make up my designs I will often change them as I go along.

When adding collage layers sometimes I will just layer and glue straight away, other times I might make up the collage as a separate element before I then add it (which is what I did on this one). It gave me the opportunity to add more stitching before I glued it down.

I made sure I knew where the collage was going on this design before adding the stencilled texture so that I only added it in the gaps that needed something extra.

So if you are looking for some tag inspiration please pop over to the AVJ post today to see the wonderful creations the team have come up with. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend and .....


Thursday 29 November 2018

November DecoArt Mixed Media Team project

I have a project up on the DecoArt Mixed Media blog showing how to create a pitted surface using paints, mediums and UTEE. I made swatches for faux metals and faux enamelling and linked it back to a fossil panel post back in September where I grunged up the surface and promised this technique would come later in the year. So here it is. 

All the main steps for the technique can be found on the DMM blog here.

But I also made a Christmas card to show how the technique could be used for other projects and this one shows the gold and silver samples used for the bells.

 Process steps for the Christmas card
1. Take a piece of good cardstock and dry brush a layer of gesso over it. I use a brush with very little on at a time so that parts of the card still show through.
2. Dip the card in some watery titan buff and dry.
3. Rub pumice stone distress ink pad over the whole surface, spritz with water. Rub the excess off and heat dry to watch the random patches of the card soak up the ink.
4. Paint the Nordic stencil (by Tim Holtz) with gesso, lay over the card gesso side down and rub over. 5. When you peel back the stencil you have the design imprinted on the surface.
6. Dry the gesso and rub an iced spruce distress ink pad over it, spritz with water and dry. If necessary add some more puddles of blue with stormy sky - dry again.
7. Add some touches of tissue/washi tapes.
8. Spritz with water and flick some splatters of a watery wash of quinacridone gold, spritz with water if they don't disperse enough and dry. You can see the subtle texture from the stencil on this photo too.

9. Add some neat quin gold around the tissue tape, spritz and dry.
10. Use a stamp platform to stamp the sentiment.

11. Seal the surface with two thin layers of matte medium.
12. Die-cut bells and greenery and adhere to the card adding some more thin washi tapes over the stems.

13. Finish by adding some dribbles or quinacridone gold to enhance the rusty look.

I'd love it if you had a minute to pop over to the DecoArt blog to see all the samples I made.

Thanks for stopping by and


Updated from DecoArt blog

nstructions :

Process steps for the pitted surfaces technique that I used on all the samples:
1. Pounce an embossing ink pad all over and cover with ultra-thick embossing enamel (UTEE).
2. Use a scrunched piece of dry paper towel and a small dry paintbrush to remove some of the UTEE to leave some holes or pit marks - tap off the excess.
3. Heat emboss
4. When cool, rub some Raw Umber/Paynes Grey/Dark Grey Value 3/Carbon Black paint over and when it is almost dry wipe over with a babywipe to reveal the dark pits in the surface.
5. When dry repeat step 4 again
Pitted Transparent Enamel:
(Enamel is a natural form of quartz. In simple terms, enameling involves a glass paste being applied to metal and then heated to fuse it to the surface. The finish of the enamel can be translucent or opaque depending on the temperature used to melt the glass. Higher temperatures result in a more transparent and durable enamel while lower temperatures give a more opaque and fragile surface.)
Create a surface that you want to be covered in clear enamel. I chose a piece left over from a previous experiment to use - shown below.
Repeat steps 1 - 5 above. I used Dark Grey Value 3 for the pitting.
Pitted Coloured Enamel:
(To give enamel a particular colour, a certain number of special coloured components [pigments and dyes] have to be added. With these, almost any colour can be achieved.)
To begin, paint the substrate with any colour you like - with Christmas coming up I used Pyrrole Red.

Repeat steps 1 - 5 above.
This would look great die-cut or stamped and cut out as a pillarbox I think.
Pitted Gold 1 and 2:
To start the first swatch, paint the surface of the substrate with gold media acrylic paint.

Repeat steps 1 - 5 above.

I used Raw Umber on the gold.
To start the second swatch, paint the surface of the substrate with DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste and dry it. Then give it a coat of gold media acrylic paint.
Repeat steps 1 - 5 above.
Again, I used Raw Umber on this one, too.
You can see how the Texture Sand Paste added a different texture in places. Variations will occur depending how much of the UTEE you remove before heating it.

This next photo shows how much paint I spread on the surface and let almost dry.
Pitted Brass:
For Step 1, paint the surface of the substrate with a mix of Gold and Raw Umber media acrylic mixed together.

Repeat steps 1 - 5 above.

I used Patina antiquing cream on the brass.
Pitted Silver:
For Step 1, paint the surface of the substrate with silver media acrylic.

Repeat steps 1 - 5 above.

I used Carbon Black on the silver.
If you have got any of the DecoArt metallic paints you can try any type of metal finish you want.
Pitted Pewter:
Here's a swatch using the Extreme Sheen metallic paint in Pewter with Paynes Grey pits.
Pitted Rose Gold:
Here's a swatch using the Extreme Sheen metallic paint in Rose Gold with Carbon Black pits.
To see how you could apply this technique to another project I have made is this Christmas card with a gold and silver bell on and both are cut from the appropriate swatch sample.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

ATCs - experimenting with fluid acrylic layers with glazing medium

Every Sunday I receive an email letter from the very talented Shawn Petite. I subscribed quite some time ago as I have been fascinated by her grungy, mixed media paintings and the layers she includes. Shawn is a member of the DecoArt Media Team with me and I love seeing her projects and articles/videos, they are so interesting and informative. You can find Shawn's website here to see her blog, inspirational art and free resources.


I was feeling rather lack lustre the day I worked on this couple of ATCs. I had started to prepare them before Shawn's newsletter arrived, so I thought I would use some of her steps to get me into a groove. Here's my version.

Process steps
 Begin by brushing some gesso lightly over the card don't worry if it doesn't seal everywhere. 
Mix some DecoArt modeling paste and white gesso together and scrape through a stencil, leave to dry.
Drag some white crackle paste over randomly and again leave to dry.

Mix some raw umber with glazing medium and paint all over the substrate and wipe back with a damp piece of kitchen paper.

Repeat the last step with prussian blue hue.

Repeat again with burnt umber to get a lovely vintage hue.

To bring in some colour mix some raw sienna and hansa yellow medium to any left over burnt umber and repeat this step again. (See the right hand sample).
Or mix some quinacridone magenta with burnt umber and the glazing medium to repeat. (See the left hand side sample).
Then to get some white back on the raised stencil texture gently knock it back by rubbing over with a cloth dampened with surgical spirit.

Drip some quinacridone gold watery paint onto the backgrounds and spritz lightly with water allowing the paint to move around and pool in the recesses. Dry.
Distress the edges.

So I was really happy with my experiments seeing how grungy I could get the effects but I think I will stick to only two layers if I create something more shabby in the future. It's all a big learning curve when you are experimenting with something new.

So to finish and get these into my altered book journal I just created a couple of layered collages and added a photo booth pic and a vintage paper doll.

I you haven't heard of glazing medium you can add it to paints for more transparent layering effects and of course by rubbing it back you can create some fabulous cracked paint looks. I think you'll be seeing me using this technique a bit more in my projects.

You'll probably also see me using surgical spirit to rub acrylics back as well. I love it when I've learnt something new.

My thanks to Shawn who shares her inspiration, ideas and creativity so freely and if you pop over to her blog you can see her posts and videos here.


Friday 9 November 2018

Colour theme at Tando -

It's a colour theme this week and here is the gorgeous palette. Winter is definitely heading our way.

I've created a canvas board and the process steps and more photos are over on the Tando blog today.

The canvas board background went through a couple of transformations and although started off quite 'pretty' my muse decided to take me off in a different direction when I came to finish it off.

I used an acrylic media board shape for the focal element ......

and stamped and painted it to get to this almost night sky look.

An embossed star and a hand made grungy word band ........

 and I was ready to assemble.

So if you'd like to see how the background got transformed and how this came together please pop over to the Tando blog for more information.

Thanks for stopping by.

hugs Brenda xxx

Monday 5 November 2018

Craft Stamper Christmas projects

I have a new project, well actually two samples, in the current Craft Stamper magazine which gives a step by step on creating that faux encaustic technique I have been loving using and there's also a follow up post on the Craft Stamper blog to create the simple background and an easel to attach so your project can stand on display. I love using easels on special canvas board cards.

Here are the sneak peeks .....

and the magazine pages .....

If you are reading this in November 18 you have a chance of winning some DecoArt fluid acrylic paints and a pot of the fantastic clear modeling paste being promoted in the magazine and on face book. As you know the DecoArt media range are my go to products and this is a prize well worth winning.

Thanks Trish Latimer and Craft Stamper, I always feel so proud and excited when a piece of my work has been published. 

And to you my fabulous readers -


Friday 2 November 2018

Paper Stash at AVJ

Yes we all have them drawers or shelves stacked with patterned papers that we dip into but never seem to reduce the pile. Well here is a chance to get into them and decide what to use for a challenge sample.

Sandy is our hostess today and is asking us to create a project of any kind using some designer papers in creative ways and in one of the AVJ preferred vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk styles. My choice was a vintage Christmas card and I used two of the stamps from the new Tim Holtz Stamptember release.

I used paper from an old Christmas pad as well as my new worn wallpapers. Because the worn wallpaper was directly below the frame I wanted to knock back the central area and used a couple of layers of watery gesso and then some distress oxides.

Wanting to get the frame covered with some of the DecoArt clear crackle paste before I went to bed I layered it on with a palette knife and left it overnight but realised the next morning that I had forgotten to seal/prime the surface underneath.   I rubbed in some raw umber and titanium white antiquing creams and left it for about 20 minutes and then started wiping away with a damp baby wipe. It looked a bit dull and murky so I began rubbing in some more of the white antiquing cream and hey hello, what a fabulous effect it gave me. Very little of the crackle lifted and as I rubbed the white in and rubbed away again just using my fingers this most amazing cracked ice effect appeared. Love it, so I didn't bother to try and rub any more away, I just left it.

I designed the card as I went along choosing the layers and these are the inked and stamped die-cuts and elements.

I decided to add some natural elements to the card and chose these pepperberries that I picked up a few weeks ago.

I also painted a small glass star with a white paint pen and stuck on.

I hope you get a moment to pop over to the main A Vintage Journey challenge blog where you'll find some more fabulous inspiration from some of the Creative Guides.

Thanks for stopping by and .....