Friday 4 December 2020

A Merry Little Christmas and a sad announcement for A Vintage Journey

Hello all and welcome.

Let me start by saying this is going to be a somewhat unusual post in more ways than one, but sometimes we have to bite the bullet, so bare with me..

This time of year usually brings us festive cheer and a focus  on seasonal projects to inspire and motivate us leading into the winter and up to Christmas. 

2020 no doubt has brought us all many different kinds of opportunities and challenges and while many people are able to enjoy their hobbies and pastimes, others have suffered greatly as we all know on so many different levels. For me and many others, what has become particularly noticeable is how we, as a creative community, seem to have changed our habits using the internet and over past months a wider use of differing social media platforms has allowed many to reach into each other's studios and meet together to learn and share our creations in a fascinating variety of distanced ways. Internet relationships for many seem not to have suffered but blossomed allowing us to diversify and explore hobbies and interests we might never have had before. Even though personally I largely boycott Facebook and Twitter as poisonous places of polarisation, I do use Instagram as many of you know, even though it is owned by Facebook. My only design team in this past year has been A Vintage Journey, and as Brenda says in her post there, "AVJ has always tried to be a place to motivate, inspire and share creations within a likeminded community, a place to teach and learn, to excite and stretch the boundaries of our imaginations. But within this new world we live in and the changes to how we interact, blogging seems to be less popular than it was. It can be a very time consuming way to 'show and tell' whilst elsewhere 'like' buttons that are quicker and easier to express our feelings enable us to move around the community in much faster ways. It is, therefore, with great sadness that we have seen fewer visits, entries and communications on our very successful blog and feel it is time to close it down and give ourselves time to see out the pandemic and watch with interest how the community relates to the changes it has brought to how we will all operate in the future".

Reading the comments here, I am adding a quick post script, I am not closing my own blog, this is about the Vintage Journey Blog and challenges only!!

As the creative guides we decided to come together for one last challenge to share small ATC creations that focus on that Christmas cheer we look forward to and some nostalgic reflection in saying goodbye.

So I will share two different ATCs created for this challenge, the first just to say goodbye to the challenges at AVJ and the second as a contribution to the "Merry Little Christmas" theme.

For this first one, I pulled out some of my Tim Holtz stash, because in the first years of AVJ we were mainly a Tim Holtz inspired challenge. I created a mixed media type background and then collaged some other elements, the "found relative" paper doll girl, to symbolise the friendships we all formed in our years designing for the challenge, my fellow creative guides there really have become like a new family of friends.

I did some stitching around the edges, added some old book page and the word create, for more than anything that's what AVJ has done over the years, encourage us to create, just for the joy of it.

I added some shadow with a Stabilo All pencil to add some more depth, and finished the collage composition with a wax seal.

For my second ATC, I again created a mixed media background, but this time added some collage elements from one of my own paper collections on Etsy
This one was finished in a very similar way. I chose the word Peace, because more than anything I hope that this Christmas, fear, anxiety and uncertainty will be replaced by some peace in people's hearts and minds.

Well, that's it for now. If you would like more detail on the challenge or feel tempted to play along for one last time, please head over to the Vintage Journey Blog, where there is of course also loads of inspiration from my teamies.

Thank you for visiting here like always, stay safe and well, and keep crafting and creating!


Angela said...

I have always liked reading your blog posts and am finding this post very sad and will miss your inspirations!

ike said...

Oh dear. I am so sad to hear this. I shall miss you and your wonderful creations so much :-(

Maryann Laursen said...

Soo sad news, that you´re closing this down, but I can also easy understand why, as I gave up my own blog a few years ago from the same reason. But I have really enjoyed to follow your lovely work all these years, and I don´t hope, that you´re closing all your private part all down too.
I absolutely love all your amazing work and have enjoyed sooo many of your amazing tutorials over the years too and learned sooo much from you over the years. But as I said before, I truly understand as it is almost impossible to keep people in the loop anymore, as everything has to be sooo fast, that there´s never time for anything anymore.
I wish you all the best and hope, you´ll keep up the fabulous work, and have a wonderful time now with your lovely family and have a Very Merry Christmas. Takr care sweet friend.

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, simply stunning! Love your final ATC, the design is amazing and the wax seal that you added is perfect 😁. Of course the sparkly snowflakes caught my eye too, they look so elegant married with the pretty girl and holly leaves. I'm really thankful to have met you at A Vintage Journey, and I've had such a wonderful experience as a participant and Creative Guide! All your support and friendship is much appreciated, you've been such an inspiration - I love your Vintage style! Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey! Love and hugs, Jo x

Bella said...

I love your beautiful projects! I understand your frustration, since I too have felt it. Worse of all, is I got blocked from my instagram account for many months, without a justification! I have no idea why this happened.
Social networks have become highly shallow and aggressive.
When I created my blog back in 2009, people who liked the content would visit and follow and share their blogs. Then suddenly, around 2013 no more visits. Many blogs stopped getting visited, mine included. Now, I get followers, who are not true followers, since they don't share interest in handmade items, crafting and so on. They just follow to get followers. So sad.
All this has greatly frustrated me, and now I see my blog as my own personal crafting diary, where I share with people who also enjoy.
So all this to say, I understand your frustration and my heart goes out to you.
I love you projects and freebies :)

Your friend, Bella

Julia Aston said...

Two lovely ATC's in your beautiful vintage style Astrid! I have so enjoyed being on the AVJ team with you with your lovely inspiration so different from my usual creative style. I've learned so much from everyone on this great team! I've enjoyed hearing about your yearly travels to Australia to visit your children as well! Julia xx

Studio Susanne said...

Your Christmas ATC’s are gorgeous Astrid, your creations are always an inspiration to see and enjoy. I’m so pleased to hear that you will keep your blog going as it is always a treat to visit because you share so many great ideas and lovely tutorials too.
warmest wishes from France

Annie said...

Hello my lovely friend xx Such beautiful ATC's and I love the details x It is very bittersweet that AVJ is closing it's doors but I agree that other platforms make it easier to share your creations and to keep in touch with friends/followers x It has been amazing to be part of the AVJ team with you and as you know I adore your makes/tutorials and you are such an inspiration to me x I am also grateful that we are able to get together for crafty days, which I so enjoy xx Hopefully we will be able to arrange a date soon xx

Lots of Love & Best wishes
Annie xx

Roxanne said...

Well as many have said, it is sad that the Vintage Journey blog will close for now. I am glad you are keeping yours going. This is one of the few I still read and look at...and of course get inspired by. It helps too that I see what may be in your Etsy shop as I've enjoyed getting wonderful papers/images there for my own little projects.
Thank you Astrid for all you do and I love the above projects.... so nostalgic and reminds me of when I was little and cards looked pretty like this and had those 'sugar sparkles' on them. My Mom called them I do too.
Thanks again Astrid.

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

You post is so poignant and true. I feel the same way about FB but I need it for business, IG too. The pandemic brought change in our community but blogging has been a problem even before. I struggle to hang on continuing using it as well. I am sad another challenge blog is gone, especially such a great one, but I totally understand. LOVE your little works of Art here, so you.

Brenda Brown said...

Thank you Astrid for being the most wonderful supporter of AVJ and the challenges and values we have all shared as Creative Guides. It is sad when we have to announce we are moving on and closing the blog but it is with great happiness I reflect on everything we have achieved together. Your beautiful ATCs are a wonderful reflection of the ideals we have held close to our hearts and I know we will continue to share these and stay in touch. Huge hugs Brenda xxx

Marjie Kemper said...

Such beautiful ATCs, Astrid! What a pleasure it's been to enjoy all the fabulous creations you and Brenda and the team and AVJ have shared over the years.

Words and Pictures said...

I suppose I've been putting this off because visiting makes it real! Yes, after all those teams together - and this one probably the most special - it really is the end of an era. I know we'll stay connected - not only at IG but in the real world too, via email for now, but I really hope that some day when we're allowed to move around this beautiful planet again, that you will be able to come and visit face to face too.

I also went the TH road, in tribute to those early days - great minds you see! - but those were also the supplies it was easiest to keep to hand for the temporary craft set up!! I love the deep shadows of the first one and the stitched detail around the edges of both of these brilliant vintage ATCs. Particularly the Peace one really looks to me as though it could have sat on the mantlepiece of a Victorian society lady. That delicate snowy shimmer amidst the faded gold is magical. A lovely way to commemorate and celebrate the journey.
Alison x

sarascloset said...

Astrid, it is you who originally drew me to A Vintage Journey with your unchanging and unmistakable vintage style of making. I adore these two ATC's and the stitching around them takes them to another level altogether! A great finish to a fabulous 7 plus years! What a thoughtful post, so bittersweet. I am pretty much adverse to any social media, and even my visits to blogs have dramatically fallen off. but I will check in with you from time to time. Your work continues to be a bright spot in the world! Big hugs!

mariabellekens said...

I really love all your beautiful ART!! Have a nice and healty newyear Astrid!!


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