Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happy Birthday A Vintage Journey!

Hello everyone, I am so excited to be here today with a new project created for our second birthday celebrations over at A Vintage Journey!  On March 7th, 2014 the first challenge at A Vintage Journey was created and Nikki has come up with a fabulous challenge theme this month to mark the occasion.

For our birthday challenge we thought it would be fun to challenge you to use the products in our Destination Inspiration Travel Bag this month. You’ve seen how the Creative Guides have used the products in the past and you will see how they use them this month too. So join us in using the following products and enjoy the journey!

Substrate: Board (eg/ grey board, coaster board, cardboard)
Main Colour: Lilac or Pale Purple
Technique: Rust Effects (perhaps using rusting or embossing powders or rust coloured paints)
Product: Something Metal

Our very special birthday prize sponsor this month is no other than Andy Skinner
Andy's mixed media creations are sensational - if you are not familiar with his work do check out his website. Andy has kindly donated a fabulous package to this month's lucky winner which will be made up of his brand new stencils and stamps.

I wanted to do something extra special for our birthday celebration this month so decided to make my very first ATB (artist's trading block).  I love how you have so many surfaces to embellish and the creative possibilities are quite endless.  With Spring in the air here in British Columbia, the prompt of lilac's in Nikki's challenge theme and some newly purchased Tim Holtz Idea-ology that I was itching to use as inspiration, here is what I ended up creating.

I started out by cutting an ATB using one of Eileen Hull's Sizzix Dies (Block/Cube/Bank, 3-D #658983) but it ended up being too small for what I had planned.  So I just 'super-sized' Eileen's pattern and cut out an ATB that measured 3 1/2" in width and height from some chipboard packaging in my stash.  I then added some Tim Holtz Symphony tissue tape on all the seams.

I definitely wanted a rustic, worn feeling for the ATB to go along with the rusted metal pieces I planned to add, so decided to do a crackle paint finish on the block.  An undercoat of Walnut Stain Distress paint was overlaid with some Deco-Art Weathered Wood crackle paint and when that had dried a top coat of Americana Warm White acrylic paint was applied.

Magic!  I wanted to bring in some of the lilac colour in Nikki's prompt so made a wash of Shaded Lilac Distress ink and painted it over the crackle.  I then added another coat of Wilted Violet Distress Ink, repeating both colours a couple of times until I had the depth of colour that I was looking for.

I then spattered some purple acrylic paint from my stash onto all sides and shaded all of the edges with some Ground Espresso Distress Ink.

Because I had a water soluble wash over top of the acrylic paint crackle, I then sealed the whole ATB with some of Tim's Distress Micro glaze.  Then it was time to embellish!

I knew I wanted to use Tim's new Alpha Dice and Decorative Domes on the top of my ATB and that my theme was going to be Spring and Lilacs.  So I hunted through my stash for some suitable embellishments and themes for all four sides and birds, flowers and butterflies seemed to fit the bill!  For the front face, I stamped the egg from Tim's Bird Feather stamp set with Shaded Lilac and Ground Espresso Distress ink and added a beautiful feather from my stash that I found last year.  I do believe it is from a male mallard, the irredescent blue colour is just wonderful in real life.

I then started to incorporate the metal and rust elements of Nikki's DI travel bag prompt and added multiple colours of alcohol inks (Caramel, Rust and Black) to another one of Tim's new Idea-ology releases, Quote Bands, and then highlighted the quote with some white acrylic paint.  I though this quote was very appropriate when paired with that wonderful found feather!  I died some Crinkle Ribbon with Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet Distress inks to affix the quote band and added a couple of heart studs that I rusted with multiple layers of acrylic paint (black, dark brown and orange stippled on randomly).  To finish off  this side of the ATB, I coloured a Mirrored Star with the same colours of alcohol inks that I'd used on the Quote Band.

For the next side, I went back to Tim's Bird Feather stamp set and stamped the nest onto some tissue paper with Sparrow Dye Ink.

I tore around the stamped image and glued it on with some Glue n' Seal and then added another wash of Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet Distress inks over top.  A Philosophy tag was rusted with a combination of alcohol inks and acrylic paint and adhered along with another heart stud rusted in the same manner as the hearts on the front.

Next, I went hunting through my Found Relatives and Photobooth pictures for a suitable candidate and chose this sweet young girl in her lovely Spring hat from the Photobooth film strips to adorn the third side of the ATB.

I gently sanded the picture and then lightly coloured her hat with some Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet Distress inks, edged the picture with some Vintage Photo DI and hung it from a Hinge Clip rusted with the same acrylic paint combo as previously mentioned.  I printed out the 'Spring Time' clock face on the computer and die cut it to fit inside Tim's Watch Cameo that was rusted with the alcohol ink combo.   I added a layer of Glossy Accents over top of the watch face to simulate glass.   The top right corner of this side was looking a bit bare, so I coloured some cardstock with Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet Distress inks and then punched the layered butterfly using an EK Success Butterfly Layering punch.

 And for the fourth side, I went back to one of my very favourite Tim Holtz embellishements, Fragments.

I edged all of the tiles with the same rusty alchohol ink combination and then layered the Fragments over top of some Spring images from my stash (the eggs and the bird postcard are courtesy of Ephemera's Vintage Garden and the vintage calendar is from Tim Holtz's Thrift Shop Ephemera pack).

With all four sides completed, it was time to get to work on the top.  I started out by spelling out 'Spring' with Tim's new Alpha Dice and encircled them with some lace coloured with Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet DI.

I was inspired to use the lace around the dice by the wonderful Paula Cheney who had done a similar treatment on this fabulous framed panel she created here.

Next I started to work on the Decorative Dome that was going to be the centerpiece on top of my ATB.  Because of the height of the Alpha Dice, I had to come up with something to use as a pedastal to elevate the decorative dome so you would be able to see it.  On hunting through my stash, I came upon an empty thread spool which just happened to be the perfect diameter for the base of the decorative dome, it was kismet!  I rusted the spool with the acrylic paint recipe and rusted the base of the dome and the hanger on top with the alcohol ink combo and glued them together.

It's amazing how well the two finishes go together!  I then stamped a length of coffee stained muslin using Tim's Ledger Script stamp and wound it around the empty spool.

For the inside of the decorative dome, I shrunk down and printed out a vintage lilac botanical print (courtesy of The Graphics Fairy) and adhered it to the base of the dome, surrounding it with some seed beads from my stash.

Although the seed beads look silver in this picture, they have a definite purple hue to them in real life.  I then coloured a piece of button thread with some Wilted Violet DI and tied it to the top of the dome.  (Sorry for the dark picture, it was a test trying to get a picture of the dome without any reflections!)

To echo the thread on the top of the dome, I added a couple of loops of coloured button thread underneath the dome as well.  I then tied a bow with the dyed crinkle ribbon left over from the quote band and made some flowers using Tim's Tiny Tattered Florals dies from Core-dinations cardstock coloured with Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet DI.

A few silk hydrangea blossoms from my stash were also added along with another mirrored star coloured with alcohol inks and a couple more of the punched butterflies.

I added a few 'raindrops' made from Glossy Accents here and there on the leaves as well because we all know that Spring showers bring on all the lovely flowers!

So that is my contribution to the birthday celebrations over at A Vintage Journey.

I do hope you will pop on over to A Vintage Journey to see what my fellow Creative Guides have created with the contents of their travel bags, as always they do not disappoint!  And I hope that you will also be inspired to see what you can create with these four ingredients and to join us in celebrating our second birthday at AVJ.  Thank you for stopping by my blog today and as always, happy creating!

Deb xo


  1. I can't even find the right words for your ATB. I adore it! Every time I think I see my "most favorite" thing about it, something else catches my eye. What a lovely spring creation! It's like a symphony in solid form.

  2. What a beautiful box Deb! Your crackle is gorgeous with the subtle shades of purple on it - and each side is decorated so sweetly for spring! Love the little glass dome and all the spring flowers on top as well! Julia xx

  3. Oh Deb this is outstanding!!! I LOVE all the elements you've incorporated around the ATB including the feather and egg and those fragments, but the bit that's stolen my heart is the balanced dome and spring flowers on the top. Jenny x

  4. Wow Deb I just loveeeee your ATB and the decorative effects you have achieved. The lilac wash over the magnificent crackle looks superb ant then to embellish with so many pieces and create the top diorama is just exceptional. A really clever use of the travel bag contents.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs Brenda xxx

  5. Oh wow - this is just stunning Deb. Such a clever design and all those little details - I am in love with it! xxx

  6. Wowzers Deb, this is freaking awesome!! I absolutely love all your delicious purple flowers on the top, what an amazing contrast against the distressed crackle texture of the box itself! Love love love! hugs :)

  7. Debs you really have taken the contents of the travel bag and ran with them creating your fabulous lilac spring ATB! It really is a fabulous piece that you have designed and executed so wonderfully and with so much thought .
    Love the subtle lilac tones you have given the gorgeous crackle and the way you have added so much interest for us to admire .
    Great , inspiring crafting .
    hugs x

  8. Cool! Great job-- it really looks like wood. I've never tried making an ATB, but they sure are interesting. Your colors are perfect!

  9. You know I'll love this one best..with all the pretty shades of lavender! Enjoy your day! Hugs!

  10. Oh my goodness, what a stunning Spring ATB!!! Each and every corner of it looks fantastic! I completely adore it, such a fab project, brilliantly executed with so many amazing details, Just wonderful!

  11. I absolutely adore Eileen's ATB die and what you have done with it is fabulous! I love the lilac hue and your decorations are superb. This is such a great challenge by Nikki and you have done her proud with this outstanding block!!! Hugs, Anne xx

  12. oh my wow gosh this is so beautiful! I love purple and you used it so wonderfully. Love all the amazing textures and treasures to see. Fabulous! hugs,

  13. Absolutely gorgeous. I love how you have used the ingredients. I adore how,you embellished and I love the lettering and domed glass piece on the top. Gorgeous piece. Tracy x

  14. What a treat for the eyes this is Deb! So many beautiful embellishments which keep catching the eye. I love the crackle on the block and the subtle colours which come through. Beautiful. Julia S-W xx

  15. This is the first time I've ever seen or heard of an ATB and may I say it's delightful.

  16. This is so very cool, Deb! Love your amazing spring block. <3

  17. Fantastic project Deb ! Love the crackle base and the detailed elements work beautifully together ! Sue C x

  18. Cracklakin good time! Fantabulous ATB and use of the travel bag ingredients. What wonderful colors you chose and such awesome sauce elements! Fantabulous design! Hugz. ~Niki

  19. Absolutely in awe! love the shade of purple you chose! i adore the way that you have utilized new Tim's stuff! Barbara

  20. Absolutely in awe! love the shade of purple you chose! i adore the way that you have utilized new Tim's stuff! Barbara

  21. You would never know this is you first ATB - it is awesome. Love everything about it and especially how you used the colors and the crackle. Sandy xx

  22. What an absolutely gorgeous springtime ATB, Deb - every little detail is perfection, from the crackled base to the tiny flowers, lace-wrapped letter dice, and wonderful shabby text ribbon. Love each side with its tributes to spring time - the eggs and feathers and stamping and fragments - simply brilliant.
    Alison x

  23. Aww Deb this is amazing, so many beautiful details. I really like how you've used the tissue tape around the edges - brilliant idea xx

  24. Wow, Deb - this is so incredible!! The crackle, the flowers, the colors, the eggs ..... I love it!! I am very late here - but so glad I caught this! xxx Lynn

  25. Hi Deb, I'm not sure you can hear that sound all the way up there, but that's the sound of a jaw hitting the table, as I sit here and gape at your beautiful ATB! Holy Toledo, girl! This is like 10 projects in one! When you do it, you go all the way! I'm not quite sure what to comment on, because I would be here all day...instead I will just tell you that you have hit this out of the park 4x!

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. I hang my head humbly, because next to yours, anything would pale in comparison.

    And Lynn thought SHE was late! I've had computer issues and it takes everything I've got to get my posts and DT stuff done. I've been missing all this good stuff! Hugs!


Due to an inordinate number of SPAM comments lately I have had to turn on comment moderation. Your comment will be published as soon as it has been reviewed, thanks so much for your interest in my work! Deb xo