Friday 4 December 2020

Merry Christmas and 'Au Revoir' to A Vintage Journey

 I can't believe that after nearly 7 years we have decided to call an end to the challenges and posts on the A Vintage Journey Challenge Blog. I have been so proud of what we have achieved in terms of the philosophy and talent that it has brought together. It went beyond my wildest dreams but for several reasons I think that now is the right time.

Life for me has now changed in terms of retirement, new goals, different responsibilities and this year particularly the Covid-19 pandemic, I have wandered away from the creative paths I was following and lost the focus I once had. I hope it will return someday but for now I'll just follow the road I am on and enjoy the new journey.

I am however submitting my last project for AVJ which has two themes - To 'Celebrate the Season' by making an ATC or a set of ATCS depicting Christmas scenes or colours plus the ending of the challenges and inspirational projects that the whole team has contributed to over nearly 7 years. 

I started by making some backgrounds during another fabulous crafty Skype session with two of my AVJ friends, Nikki and Alison, who live fairly near to me and I have met in person.

I chose this finished design because of the bright and colourful effects it gave me and then cut it into ATC sized pieces. It was made with Christmas tissue paper. stencils, acrylic paints and stamps.


ATC backgrounds - Stamped holly leaves painted in green and berries painted red to help bring it all together. Die-cut leaves and sentiments.

Finally berries, boxwood twine and shabby muslin bow to finish it off.

These are such sweet little pieces of art I decided to mount them in white frames with a background piece of the original tissue paper used in the mixed media backgrounds - see end of the post.

My third ATC for the second part of the challenge includes a recycled background from an old Tim Holtz tag book, it also incorporates his stamps and inks, one of his frames, his design tapes and his remnant rubs. This was where my love of the Vintage genre started.

It really didn't take long to put this one together but I had to include a heart as I will treasure these AVJ years with the friendships I've made and the people we have touched all around the world. These are indeed such wonderful memories that I will hold in my heart forever.

Thanks to everyone who has travelled with me on this amazing journey. Although this is the first project and post for quite a few months I am hoping I will get back into the swing one day soon.

Take care and huge hugs Brenda xxx


Monday 27 July 2020

Skype Collaboration - Wooden houses

It's been so wonderful to have skype sessions with my two lovely friends Nikki (Addicted to Art) and Alison (Words and Pictures) during lockdown and really it's been the only time I have sat and created anything. I've spent so much time in the garden and, since we have been allowed out more, Ken and I have spent at least two days a week visiting National Trust places and beautiful gardens, so between that and walking on our local Ranges to try and keep fit (a bit!!) there really hasn't been much time left. 

When wondering what we could do for this session I showed the girls some little houses Ken had cut me from wood and we agreed we'd each have a set of three and couldn't wait to see the outcomes.
As I worked on the painty layers and decided to add some small windows and doors I began to get the feel that these belonged in a farm yard, what do you think?

Photo taken outdoors in the garden.

Process steps
*Seal with gesso using a palette knife to spread it over.
*Scrape cobalt blue and grey acrylic paints randomly over the walls and dry.
*Sand the sides.
*Scrape on some resist paste and give a coat of white chalky paint and gently heat to wipe away leaving some of the previous colours showing through.
*Use a blending tool and foam to add some yellow oxide and tita buff , both mixed with a little glazing medium - this ages the paint a bit.
* Rub with some dry kitchen towel, a wet wipe and buff the walls before scraping some white chalky paint randomly down all the sides.
*Paint the roofs black.
*Sand the edges again and rub in some brown distress ink.
*Outline where you want the windows and doors with a pencil then cut away the paint layers with a sharp knife. Darken them by using sharpie pens.
*I knocked in two rusty nails for chimneys.

Photo taken indoors in a light tent. They could almost be in a snowy setting.

Side view straight on.

Photo showing side windows

Nikki's version. I love the gorgeous tissue layers, the beautiful bright colours and the  sequencing of the phrase over the three layers.

Alison's version. These are very much in her beautiful shabby, cottage garden style and the added stamping, painted flowers and rusty elements really bring them to life.

Please click the links to be transported over to see more details of these fabulous wooden house sets.


Wednesday 24 June 2020

Vintage shabby emboss resist - New Technique

I'm using some of the Andy Skinner new release stamps today - Mandal and Pebble Beach to create this emboss resist background.

I started by scraping some gesso thinly over my card and when it was dry I added some London Brick chalk paint rubbed it around, spritzed it with water and dried it.

I stamped the mandala and pebble beach stamps with embossing ink, covered it with the embossing powder and heat set it . When the card was cool  I squeezed over a little white chalk paint and  again spritzed with water and rubbed it around then took my heat gun and gently wafted it over the surface not getting too close. I let it cool and repeated heating until it was almost dry, then took a wet wipe and gently rubbed over the surface to reveal this gorgeous shabby design

I wouldn't recommend stamping over the surface, it was a nightmare and I had to use both black and white posca pens to touch it up!!! ;o))


Andy Skinner Creative Expressions - Stamps - Mandala, Pebble Beach,
Andy Skinner Creative Expressions - Matt Chalk Paint - London Brick
Miscellaneous - White Gesso, White Chalk Paint

Saturday 20 June 2020

Revisiting old Techniques - Emboss Resist

I love this technique and have used it alot in the past but I thought I would update it to create a vintage shabby timeworn look.

Process Steps
1. Paint a coat of acrylic paint over the surface and dry - I used rust.
2. Stamp with embossing ink, cover with clear embossing powder and heat.
3. When cool paint over the entire surface with another colour, this time I chose ocean breeze.
4. Leave it to dry until it's just tacky to the touch then wipe over with a damp cloth to remove the paint from the embossed image. The harder you wipe the more you will reveal. If like me you are using something like greyboard that rubbed back to the original surface take the underneath color and with your finger fill in the rubbed out area and distress by dabbing it gently.
5. Give it a timeworn look by adding a couple of watery washes of rust and quinacridone gold and leave to dry naturally.
6, Sand the edges and rub around with brown or rust coloured permanent inks - I used coffee archival.


Andy Skinner Creative Expressions - Artist Pigment Paint - Rust
Andy Skinner Creative Expressions - Matt Chalk Paint - Ocean Breeze
Andy Skinner Creative Expressions - Stamps - Old Seals, Create, Gypsie Queen,
Tando Creative - Media Board
Miscellaneous - Embossing ink, embossing powder

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Antique enamelled bottle and media tile

Framed media tile.
Hold on tight to your dreams.

Process steps

Take a greyboard die-cut bottle and paint a coat of raw umber over the whole surface and dry.
Next paint it with tinting base but leave the edges almost dry brushed so that the brown paint underneath shows through in some places. Dry.
Poke two small holes through which you can thread the wire to tie the test tube to it.
Press the whole bottle into an embossing ink pad and cover with clear embossing powder, heat and leave to cool then give it a second coat. Sand the edges and rub brown distress ik round them.

Take the test tube apply some clear crackle glaze and leave to dry.

Paint a coat of tinting base over the media board tile and when it's dry using a palette knife used horizontal to the surface, scrape a very light coat of gesso over to create some random texture.

Alter the wildflowers and stems with some paint and archival inks. I tend to rub some paint light over the surface and when dry dip them in more watery paints and finish by rubbing archival inks around the flower parts.

Mix watery wash of pink, spread a little over your craft mat and dip the tile base  in and dry. Repeat several times mixing different shades of the pink. (I used pyrrole red, titan buff and titanium white). Splatter a little burnt umber.
Sand the edges and rub some brown distress ink and seal with a coat of soft touch varnish 

The test tube should now be ready for a couple of coats of both raw umber and white antiquing creams rubbing them with a dry cloth between each layer. Then secure it to the die-cut bottle with some rusty wire.

Assemble the parts and add to a frame.

DecoArt Products
Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber, Pyrrole Red, Titan Buff and Titanium White
Mediums - Tinting Base, Clear Crackle Glaze, White Gesso, Soft Touch Varnish

A new take on my antique enamelled number plates using my DecoArt paints. This is an update to my original post which can be found here from the 19th September 2015. It inspired the layers for the die-cut bottle.

Friday 12 June 2020

Revisiting old techniques - Water Distressed Layers

Here's another of my techniques and layer combinations using acrylic paints. I like to turn to these when needing some inspiration and I have been documenting them on media boards as a resource.
You will find them added to my Tutorials and step x steps page found on my sidebar.

This one - Water Distressed Layers - I taught at Ministry of Mixology in April 2019.

Process steps
1. Paint a coat of acrylic paint (phthalo green-yellow) and heat dry.
2. Paint a thickish coat of a different colour (I mixed PGY with some hansa yellow and titan buff) and splatter with largish water droplets. 
3. Start to heat the board but before the watery spots dry lay a piece of clean dry kitchen paper over it to absorb the water. It sucks up some of the paint that has mixed with the water and leaves these gorgeous splatter spots.

4. Repeat step two and three with a coat of another colour (I used the above colours with titanium white). 

5. Move straight onto step six or stamp some text first using archival ink.

6. Finally repeat steps two and three with titanium white. 

7. Finish with some brush splattering of the same colours (I used the last green that was still on my palette and added water to it).

You could leave the finished background looking clean or you could add a watery frame around it.

I'm loving making these technique boards into mini pieces of art.


Monday 8 June 2020

Revisiting old techniques - Scraped Gesso Layer

I've devised a number of techniques and layer combinations using acrylic paints over the years and I am returning to them for inspiration and to document them on media boards as a resource.

This one - Scraped Geso Layer - I taught at Ministry of Mixology in April 2019.

Process steps
1. Seal substrate with a layer of gesso.
2. Tear and add some tissue tape.
3. Dip in watery colour/s and dry.
4. Stamp text and/or numbers using black archival ink.
5. Scrape gesso randomly and lightly over the surface using a palette knife keeping it flat.
6. Splatter using leftover watery paint.
7. Create a dark frame firstly dabbling and spritzing some watery burnt umber mixed with quinacridone gold - dry.

8. Mix neat quinacridone gold with paynes grey and slide the brush around the very edge and dry.


Thursday 4 June 2020

Revisitng old techniques - Messy painty layers

This post has been in draft form for over a year and not posted, so I've updated it and created one of my technique resource boards to go with it.
I used the DecoArt Premium range of acrylic paints and gesso on this, but it would work just as well with the Media range of paints and mediums.
Put some colours into a palette add some water and mix so that you can drop and splatter with them.

 Cover a piece of strong A4 card with gesso and immediately flick two of the colours over it.
Spritz with water and let colour move around - rub some in gently if it remains too thick.

 Press the substrate into the card and lift - you will transfer some squished gesso and colour to the surface.

Repeat this process using different colours. If the substrate seems too wet heat dry before pressing again.

Add a little more gesso as well as colours ......

Press and lift several more times ....

.... until you are happy with the results. Here is the journal and cover I made with it.

Here I tried  the same sort of technique but instead of using paints in the gesso I used Amsterdam acrylic inks.

I dipped and pressed the media board in it .....

.... and continued adding more gesso and inks to the card, dipping and pressing the board and drying between layers until I was happy with the finish.

Eh voila, quite a nice squishy background for the seahorse.