Thursday, March 6, 2014



This is an exciting day!  It's FINALLY time for our first journey together as a part of


an exciting new challenge blog that is all about VINTAGE with a strong emphasis on Tim Holtz' distinctive vintage/grunge and even shabby chic style. It's a community where we can all come together and share our art, our techniques, our love of all things vintage and Tim and maybe even win a prize or two.  :) 

I have always been a HUGE fan of Tim's creative genius.  When today's host of our journey, Brenda Brown of Bumblebees and Butterflies asked me to be part of her design team, it took me a nano second to say "Yes!"  

I mean, who doesn't love Tim Holtz and his creative vision for what nostalgic, vintage, shabby chic with a bit of grunge thrown in could be?  He is an amazing talent and has such a wonderful way of envisioning art products that move and alter all sorts of surfaces; allowing us to explore endless possiblities.  And THAT is just one of the reasons why this creative journey is so much fun!  

I am so proud and still pinching myself that I was asked to be a part of such a diverse and extremely talented group of artists from all over the world; each with her own special style that will capture your heart.  So without further adieu, let me proudly present all of the members of the Design Team on your Vintage Journey, also known as your ...

 "Creative Guides"

Let's begin our very first vintage journey together by taking the first step ... our first challenge theme is appropriately titled 
"Anything Tim". 

For those of you who follow Tim, you know that his favorite color is brown, brown and more brown.  So, I have created a very special 8x8 canvas with an emphasis on Tim's favorite color and several of his products from Ranger, his Ideaology and Stampers Anonymous Stamp Sets.

For me, what makes this canvas so special is that it features my three grandsons.  This photo was taken in front of a huge train engine at Cooper's (the middle grandson) 6th birthday party.  I love this photograph of the boys and although it is a rather recent color picture, I created the illusion of it being a very old, colorized one. I'll share that technique with you as well as the steps I did in creating this canvas.  
Are you ready to start the journey?  Let's go ...

First of all let me say, when doing vintage work, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ink the white edges of anything that you cut, tear or whatever to get rid of the white paper edge.  Nothing is more "UN VINTAGE" than a white paper edge! 

If you follow my blog, you know that I pretty much create as I go. 

When I started this piece, all I knew was that I wanted to do it primarily in brown and that I wanted to use the photo of my grandsons.  So, the first thing I did was to create a vintage/grunge "frame" for the photograph.

I took a piece of corrugated cardboard from a box and cut it into a 3" x 5 1/4" rectangle.  I tore off the paper covering the corrugated pieces and used the middle oval from Tim's Sized Ovals die cut.  Then I brushed Gesso over the "frame" and heat set it.

Next I brushed on a small bit of Wendy Vecchi's Crackled Texture Paste over random areas of the "frame" and let that dry. I wanted to give the frame a few crackled areas, as if it were really old.  After all, this was going to be a "vintage" piece!

While the "frame" was drying, I pulled out an 8x8 stretched canvas and brushed the entire surface of the canvas with Gesso and heat set it. Then I covered the canvas with Wendy Vecchi's Embossing Paste through Tim's Burlap Stencil.  My original thought was to create an almost alligator skin looking back to the canvas. I started with one side of the canvas, laid the stencil flat against the canvas using a spatula, scraped the Embossing Paste over the stencil. Then I gently heat set the paste and laid the stencil down again next to where I laid it the first time. I repeated the process and heat set it.  Then I laid the stencil across the bottom of the canvas; where it originally did not fit all the way down and repeated the process until the entire canvas was covered.  

Here is an up close picture of the finished canvas surface. LOVE that Burlap Stencil!

Next I completely painted the canvas, the sides and the wooden stretch bars on the under side with Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint and heat set it.  This would be the back of my project.

On what would be the front of my project, I cut strips of paper from Tim Holtz' Destinations Paper Stash to cover the wooden bar areas of the canvas.  I used 1/4" Scor Tape to hold them in place.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the creative process that I forget to photograph what I'm doing. Sorry about that!  Anyway, after I added the paper strips to the frame, I randomly added more White Embossing Paste through the Burlap Stencil to the frame.  You simply repeat the process I did on the backside of the canvas to create the burlap texture. Just be sure to gently heat set each area of Embossing Paste before laying the stencil down on top of it to scrap on more Embossing Paste.  

After the burlap areas were dry, I painted over all of them and some of the paper strips with the Burnt Umber paint that had been diluted just a tad with water.  Then heat set.  I like how the patterned paper underneath is still very visible amongst the burlap stencil. (I also added the Burnt Umber paint wash to the corrugated "frame".)

 Nothing says vintage like brown and black when you're going for that aged look.  My favorite Distress Inks to use in aging something are first Vintage Photo (a lighter brown), followed by Gathered Twigs (a darker brown) or Walnut Stain (the darkest brown) followed by a touch of Black Soot around the edges.  For this frame, I already had my brown hues from the brown paint, so I simply added some Black Soot Distress Ink randomly over some of the raised burlap areas and also around the edges.  I laid the canvas to the side so I could start working on the photograph.

I apologize for the distortion of the photographs from my camera flash ... but you can get the idea.  You can create vintage looking photos from any picture.  This original photograph was shot in color.  Using a simple photo editing program on my computer, first I cropped the photo and sized it to fit my project.  Then I changed it from a color photo to a black and white photo with the simple click of my mouse. I printed the photo onto a semi gloss photo paper using an ink jet printer. I have also used anything from a matte finish to a gloss finish on my paper.  The cheaper the photo paper, the better.

The photo on the right is the regular black and white photo. The photo on the left has been colorized using colored pencils and then pouncing over the entire photo with Antique Linen Distress Ink and a piece of Cut N' Dry Foam. (An Ink Blending Tool will also work). There is something about the Antique Linen Distress Ink that just calms everything down and blends all of the colors together so perfectly.  I also "tweaked" the sepia tones around the boys just a little bit by dabbing the photo with Tea Dye Distress Ink (a lighter brown and very nice sepia color).  

Note**  Tim also teaches a technique for colorizing photographs using Distress Ink using Craft Nibs on black and white photos.  You simply substitute Distress Inks and Craft Nibs for the colored pencils. (Click on the link above to see a video of Tim using this technique). 

The key is, you don't want to colorize everything in the picture; just particular things that will really make the photo pop.  Then using an ink blending tool or a piece of Cut 'N Dry foam, gently dab either Antique Linen (which will give a more sepia tone) or Old Paper (which will give a hint of a green tone) over the entire photograph.  The Distress Inks will dry quickly. You might want to test your photo paper before trying this technique to be sure that there is not some sort of covering on the paper to repel the ink.

I pulled one of Tim's Fragment Charms, some Glossy Accents, a piece of scrap paper and some of Tim's Elements and Words Remnant Rubs.  I rubbed "Explore Life" onto the top of a clear Fragment, added Glossy Accents to the back of it and then laid the printed side of the scrap paper directly onto the back of the Fragment. I moved it back and forth and then the Glossy Accents grabs the paper and adheres it to the back of the Fragment without leaving air pockets.  Next I cut out around the paper and added just a touch of a Gold Paint Dabber around the plastic get rid of a stark (like white) edge.

Next I added Tim's Tissue Tape to the perimeter edge of the canvas using 1/2" Scor Tape to help hold it in place on a painted surface.  Then I added Tim' Metal Corners to the four corners of the canvas using 1/4" Scor Tape on the little metal prongs and a bit of Glossy Accents on the underside of the embossed metal corner top.  Next, I randomly added some Glossy Accents with my finger onto the surface of one of Tim's Vials and heat set it.  This gave the glass outside some "tooth" and allowed my Chestnut Roan Cats Eye Ink Pad to grab the Glossy Accents and give the little Vial a sepia look.  On the front of the Vial, I added one of Tim's Vial Labels and the word "WISHES" from his Label Letters.  I also wired one of Tim's Wishbones to the outside of the bottle and set the bottle to the side.

I used 1/4" Scor Tape to add the photograph behind the "frame".  Then I computer generated the word "Buddies" and glued it behind Tim's Drawer Pull. I attached the drawer pull to the frame using brads.  Then I grunged up one of Tim's Enamel Tags with Burnt Umber paint, Glossy Accents (just randomly smeared onto the surface because the ink would stick to it much better) and a little Tea Dye Distress Ink. I heat set that and then added the "3" Rub On, representing my three grandsons.  Finally I took some rusted wire and began looping it around the frame.

I thought I had finished the frame but then decided to add one of Tim's Buckles and also a Hinge Clip; so I unwrapped the wire, added the Buckle, wrapped the wire back around and added the Hinge Clip to the left side.  Here you see the additions and the completed picture frame laying on the backside of the canvas.  Love all of the texture!

This is the back of the canvas. I also added some Renaissance Treasure Gold Guilding Wax to the canvas that you will see better in close up pictures of the front of the canvas.  It adds a nice subtle richness to the canvas.

There were two more assemblages of Ideaoloy pieces that I made for the frame.  This one incorporates Tim's Ball Chain with his Clock Key and one of his new Observations Word Bands.

The other one, I forgot to photograph before adding it to the canvas. It is one of Tim's Ornate Plates that has gently been rubbed with Renaissance Treasure Gold.  I computer generated "FAMILY" and added it to the center.  Then I added the little "Explore Life" Fragment piece I'd made earlier and also one of Tim's Locket Keys using a small chain and Tim's small Jump Rings.  In this picture, you can also see more of the sheen provided by the Renaissance Treasure Gold on some of the raised areas of the canvas.

I heat embossed (using Ranger's Black Embossing Powder) "How Wonderful Life Is Now You're In The World" from Tim's new Random Quotes Stamp set.  I remember that phrase from Sir Elton John's beautiful ballad back in the 70s, "Your Song".  And ... it's exactly how I feel about my precious grandsons.  Life is even more richly blessed by their presence in our world.

I added half of one of Tim's Picture Wheel dies to the background. It was distressed with Brushed Corduroy (another brown Distress Ink) and edged with Black Soot.  The grunge "frame' was hot glued in place.  In front of the Picture wheel, I added the little wishes Vial and the Clock Key assemblage.

Here you get a better close up of the Clock Key assemblage and the wishes Vial.  You can also see more of the lovely texture and subtle sheen from the Treasure Gold wax. 

Here is a view of the side of the canvas with Tim's Tissue Tape that has been lightly distressed with the Burnt Umber paint, some Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and a light addition of Renaissance Treasure Gold highlights.

And finally, I added some vintage Scrabble Tiles to the top right of the canvas frame to fill in an area that seemed a bit sparse to me.  At the time this photograph was taken, all of the boys were still in preschool.  Cooper has since started Kindergarten and next year, the twins will follow suit.  Oh, if I could just keep them little boys forever!

So now I've taken you through the entire process of making this special keepsake that I will proudly display in our home. I hope that I've inspired you to create a vintage work of art and really become a part of our A Vintage Journey family by entering our challenge and sharing your work with all of us.  

Let's make this a real community of those who love Tim Holtz and a vintage style of art! A real place for artists who want to share our work, our techniques and our comments with others.

But wait ... there is more!  If you are chosen by our design team to have entered a particularly beautiful vintage piece, you could be the lucky winner of a £10 gift voucher from our most generous sponsor ...

Anyone is welcome to join us on this vintage journey.  We just ask that you please keep your creations in a vintage/shabby/Tim style genre if you would like to be considered in our selection of our winner and the gift certificate award.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and spending a bit of your day with me. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. 

Be sure to stop by the other Creative Guides' blogs and soak up all of their creative goodness as you explore their incredible projects. 

Enjoy YOUR vintage journey!


  1. An absolutely beautiful creation Candy, I just adore the picture of the grandkids. You have aged your piece to perfection and I love all the embellishments you have added. I am so thrilled to be part of this DT with you and the rest of the fabulous team. Anne xx

  2. OMG Candy I'm SOOOOO excited for this challenge blog and I'm SOOOOO tempted to get on the DT. You know I love this stuff. What a great first challenge and I will be playing tomorrow when I post a goodie. Congrats on being asked. You are so super talented and what a great fit! I'm sooo tempted, seriously to submit for the last spot! Your project is stunning!

  3. This is fabulous, Candy! I just love everything about it. How awesome that a wonderful picture of your grandsons led to this beautiful creation. I am in awe of your talent. Thanks for sharing how you created this. Hugs!

  4. Candy you have created the most wonderful project in your own inimitable style with the most amazing effects. The buddies are great together (are they your grand children?) and look fabulous portrayed in this vintage style. Your eye for detail and your creative mind bowls me over. Thank you so much for this wonderful project, for your great fun and camaraderie as well as your passion and excitement in getting this blog started. It has been a great team effort xx

  5. Every little detail is out of this world delicious! I love the texture around the framing and brown never looked so good, which is also a favorite of mine! That photo just blows me away and how you have mastered that technique! Totally gorgeous is this canvas! Candy, I am very excited to be on this DT with you! Hugs!

  6. Such a Tim project to celebrate your new DT. Congrats on the your new adventure.

  7. Oh Candy, your project is just totally amazing!! Every single little detail of it and of course your wonderfully detailed step by step!! There is just so much detail and artistry in every little corner of it, I could look at it for hours!! I cannot tell you how excited I am to share this amazing journey with you!!!

  8. What a beautiful keepsake... excited and congrats on your new challenge blog. I'm excited to get all inky with a project. xoxo Toni

  9. Wonderful project, Candy! I love seeing your creations.

  10. O-h m-y s-t-a-r-s!!!! What a superb piece of vintage memories of your grandsons! Can't wait to wander around the Creative Guides to see what's been created using Tim's ideas, etc.

  11. Wow Candy! What a beautiful work of art! Love your attention to detail! All the texture looks amazing! Congrats on your new adventure!

  12. Texture, techniques, tips and tricks, you've combined them all to create a fantastic piece here Candy. I just love the way you always push your creative genius that one step further to make projects that inspire me every time. So pleased to be sharing this journey with you. Jenny x

  13. Speechless Candy. Thank you so much for sharing every step on how you made this beautiful piece.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x

  14. WOW! This is a stunner Candy, love it! Fab step x step too. Great to be taking this ride with you! Chris xxx

  15. Hiya Candy, your project is AMAZING love your project, a fabulous masterpiece of YOUR grandbabies, really stunning and you can see that every little detaill has so much love in it. I LOVE IT enjoy your vintage journey sweetness amazing project and you will cherish it for life xxxx Terry

  16. This project is one of my favourites Candy, I just love everything about it from the lovely photo of the boys which gave you a starting point , to the care you have taken to ager each piece, even the back which so often gets overlooked. Just stunning. Mo x

  17. wow Candy this is such an awesome project, nobody does Tim like you. Am sure you will thoroughly enjoy being a part of this new challenge, after all you couldn't have a Tim Holtz challenge blog without you. Annette x

  18. Candy your project is so full of gorgeous details and there is so much to amaze and inspire...gorgeous photo too! I love you make and am so thrilled to be part of this creative vintage journey with you xx
    trace x

  19. Good morning Candy! Your canvas is Stunning! Thank you so much for sharing all the wonderful steps - I have been back and looked at them all twice and can't wait to give a couple of the techniques a go! So many wonderful details to inspire us all. I am so thrilled to be part of this vintage journey with you xxx

  20. What a glorious creation to begin the journey... amazing textures throughout, and all your usual incredible attention to detail. The frame looks fantastic, and I love the wire-wrapped corrugated backing for the photo - and I love the sentiment stamped on the paper - looks so cool! What a start! Hope your own actual journey is going smoothly too...
    Alison xx

  21. Fantastic canvas Candy, there is so much detail and wonderful ephemera to see. Really love your excellent Recipe and Method tutorial too.
    Lottie x

  22. Totally stunning piece Candy, you totally out did yourself on this one. All the details are gorgeous, loved the techniques, you actually made it look easy! What a fabulous way to kick off this new challenge! Have a great weekend! ~Diane

  23. all the little details add up to make it...

  24. I've been missing you from Mondays so am very pleased to see your brilliance every 2nd Friday! Terrifically grungy piece Candy brimful of Tim inspired magical elements and techniques. Thanks for fab step x step as always. Have a lovely weekend! Nicola x

  25. STUNNING!!! gorgeous as always candy xxx

  26. Gorgeous gorgeous vintage piece my friend. I adore the picture of your grandchildren taking centre stage on your design. The burlap backdrop is so eye catching and I love the warm browns and all the wonderful texture. Gorgeous design. Tracy x

  27. Hello Miss Candy, KABOOM, another Bomb wowzer, this is brilliant, the fabulous photo is PERRRRRRFECT, for this canvas, that burlap background is jaw droppingly beautiful, the tiny frame spectacular, oh my this creation is out of this world, a real TREASURE, keepsake, you designers are guiding us to Vintage Heaven, thanks for sharing the fantastic photo's technique, loved it all, Have a wonderful weekend..

  28. Hi, Candy! What a glorious mix of textures! I love the whole piece, but my favorite part is the corrugated cardboard that you transformed so that it looks like a big ole chunk of tree bark. Magical! So many wonderful textures and vintage bits and pieces, and such clever use of so many of Tim's embellies. I love how strongly masculine this piece is, but warm and nostalgic at the same time. This is an heirloom for sure!

  29. And I hope I can find time to play along.....

  30. Oh wow! I am so glad you are back. I thought I'd never see you again you are so busy building your new place. This is an awesome canvas and great pics and tutorial. Pics are not my strong point. Congratulaitons

  31. Candy I am so glad to see you in the group of those amazing ladies…you all together and individually are awesome designers and i know you will inspire us to join you! Your first piece for challenge is truly gorgeous...I have to Love all details, photo of your grandsons (so cute) and great texture! Thank you again for sharing your creativity! Best wishes from Slovenia

  32. Stunning altered canvas. Absolutely love everything about it, Candy!!!
    Congratulations on the first challenge! I look forward to many more :)

  33. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous! What an absolutely stunning make. Suzanne xx

  34. Love all the elements you've pulled together to make this super creation x

  35. LOVE LOVE LOVE the texture on this canvas! AMAZING! The bits on the inside are wonderful especially resting on the shelf. AWESOME make!

  36. WTG girl! Congrats and you know I LOVE this!!!

  37. Such a gorgeous piece, Candy. I love all the beautiful details you created. This new challenge blog is fantastic! :)

  38. Love this project, it is amazing!!!

  39. Hi Candy.....what an amazing start to our journey and I adore your project. Wonderful layers and textures. I love the way you have added the embellishments.

    TFS and huge hugs
    Annie x

  40. Oh, Girlfriend! You outdid yourself here! Truly spectacular - everywhere you look!

  41. What a fabulous piece of art! I know I say it every time, but this canvas gorgeous. I love every little detail...and as always thanks for the step by step pics!

    Enjoy the rest of the week.
    Gaby <3

  42. A lovely piece with lots of wonderful texture and interesting trinkets to feast the eyes on xo

  43. You are starting this challenge off with a bang! So beautifully grungy-

  44. This is just amazing Candy! I just never get enough of your art!

  45. just gorgeous Candy. I always love your projects. I look forward to seeing them on Vintage Journey. I intend to join in as often as I can. great inspiration and a fantastic team :)

  46. You always have such an incredible array of techniques! There are just too many things to ooh-and-ahhh at on your projects and I never ever get sick of the wow factor your pieces produce! Love so many things about this one, but found the wire to be particularly inventive. Another masterpiece in my opinion!


I am so happy that you stopped by my blog! I truly appreciate your time and thank you for leaving a comment! Have a wonderfully blessed day!