Friday, 1 May 2020

Beautiful Blooms ~ A Vintage Journey ~ New Challenge

H everybody! I hope you are all staying safe and well. It's  the beginning of a new month, which means it's time for another challenge over at A Vintage Journey. Jennie is our lovely host this month and she has chosen a fabulous challenge, which she has called, 'Beautiful Blooms'. If you hop over to the AVJ blog, you'll find Jennie's beautiful work as well some beautiful and inspiring projects from the other Creative Guides. This is what Jennie has to say about the challenge........
'Flowers are a perennial favourite for most of us, so this month we would love to see your beautiful blooms showcased on your project. You might choose to use a die cut, stamps, readymade, homemade or pressed flowers .... a single flower or a whole bouquet. Just remember to create your project in one of our preferred styles: vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.'
My project is an altered canvas bag, embellished with felt, die cut flowers. This is how it came together.......
I started with a plain canvas bag measuring around 25cm or 10 inches across by 20cm or 8 inches deep......
 I put masking tape on the handles to prevent the Distress Ink from spreading onto them. as Distress inks are water reactive, I thought it would be better to treat the handles with something more waterproof.......
Once the bag was dry, I gave it a coat of gloss gel medium which has helped to seal the colours. I also painted the handles with diluted acrylic paint. After more Drying time, I used a variety of Imagination Crafts, Starlight paints, with an Art By Marlene, stencil to create a subtle pattern on the surface........
I've always been interested in textiles and many years ago, I bought an embellishing machine. It looks like a sewing machine, but has 7 barbed needles and doesn't need threading. The needles perform in the same way as a felting needle tool, but because there are several all acting together, the process of felting fibres is much faster. There are several videos on You tube showing embellishers in action. I created the flowers by laying down several layers of wool roving, and running the resulting swatch, under the embellisher, until it matted together and created a piece of felt. The resulting felt, is much more substantial than the usual craft felt. After creating several pieces of felt, I used my Tattered Florals die to cut out the flower shapes. I also used my Tattered Leaves die, to cut some leaves in various shades of green. Before attaching the flowers, I decided to add a lining to the inside of the bag. I also found a length of upholstery braid, that was a great match and a few studded gems that were the right colours.  The great thing about mixed media  textiles projects is that you can break all the rules. nobody is going to check your seams and you can use a glue gun! 
Here's a view of the lining and the braid which I applied with my glue gun. I also used it to attach the flowers. Here's a close up of one of my 'flower auditions' before they were glued down......
I'm really pleased with the way the bag has worked out. It's just the right size to hold a few crafty materials, or maybe some knitting or embroidery items.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my canvas bag evolve. If you'd like to join in with our Beautiful Blooms challenge, please hop over to the A Vintage Journey blog with this link, where you'll find the challenge guidelines as well as plenty of inspiration from the Creative Guides. We'd all love to see your creations. x


  1. Wow!! This is a fabulous alteration with spectacular results xx I love the colours and those stunning blooms as well as the textures xx
    What talent you have xx
    TFS and sending huge hugs
    Annie xx

  2. Wow - well, given the simplest of sewing machines breaks when I sit down at it (and I used to put my skirt hems up with double sided sellotape if they came down) - your description of how your embellishing machine works went way over my head! But the results are definitely impressive. I love the rainbow alteration of the fabric of the bag, and those charming felted flowers are the perfect adornment.
    Alison x

  3. Oh my Toni!! what a makeover to that canvas bag. The background spraying and stencilling is just stunning and then the blooms ...... just fabulous !!!! I really love it! Jennie x

  4. Toni I am completely blown away by this amazing bag! Wow, wow, wow, super clever. The background, the felt blooms and then the way you did the inside, a totally fantastic project!!!

  5. This is a delightful little creation, you have really breathed new life into that canvas bag. So pretty to look at with those extra embellishments and so many ways to use it. Stunning..
    Creative wishes Tracey.

  6. Hi Toni:
    I love your felt flowers, and they inspired me to create the card I entered in this challenge. Thanks for sharing your talents.