Guest Creative Guide at A Vintage Journey

Working with Distress Inks on shipping tags (Marjie Kemper)

It’s my pleasure to return to A Vintage Journey blog today as their guest creative guide. Are you familiar with AVJ?  They’re a challenge blog focused on vintage, industrial, and mixed media with a whole lot of creativity mixed in. AVJ welcomes a wide variety of projects from art journaling to cards, layouts, assemblage, and more. It was my pleasure to be their guide once before, back in May of 2014 with a scrapbook layout.

The current theme is “Crazy for Autumn Colour” and I’ve turned to my Ranger Distress Oxide Inks for my pallete.

Shadow  Box Collage

Shadow Box Collage with Tim Holtz Vignette Tray (Marjie Kemper)

This is one of Tim Holtz’s Vignette Trays with a combination of my favorite Distress Oxide Inks.  The trays are lightweight yet sturdy. I appreciate that they include two sizes per package.

Layers of Distress Oxide Ink + Stencils (Marjie Kemper).jpg

To get started, I inked up a number of manila shipping tags. I wasn’t sure what I’d create, but this got the juices flowing and gave me plenty of surfaces to die-cut when inspiration arrived.  After deciding on a focal image, I used a retired Sizzix die called Pediments to make a top/bottom for my tag.

Collage accents with Distress Inks (Marjie Kemper)

After looking at these pieces for awhile, I chose to save the circles and the textured tag for another day.

I made a background for the Vignette Tray by blending my Distress Oxide Inks on a large piece of manila cardstock. My OttLite helps so much with lighting my blog photos… even at night!  You probably know I’m an OttLite ambassador… I’ve been using them for two decades and I swear by them.

Shadow Box in progress (Marjie Kemper)

Free Resource

If you enjoy the Oxides, you might like a Distress Ink Blending Checklist I’ve created for newsletter subscribers.  May I send you one?

Distress Ink Blending Checklist (Marjie Kemper)

Oxides are similar to regular Distress Inks in that you can blend them easily with ink blending tools.  What’s super special about them is the combination of dye ink + pigment ink that can yield to some absolutely gorgeous results. More on that another day!

Stamping with paint (Marjie Kemper)

I should have pulled out my Stamping Platform when I decided to paint my foam letter stamps. Honestly, it does such a wonderful job when you need to repeat an impression for better clarity.  Since I had already attached the top/bottom dies my surface was no longer flat. I opted for a clear acyrlic block. Bad call! A skinny paintbrush filled in at the end, but I wish I had just used my Stamping Platform at the start.

Tim Holtz collage accents (Marjie Kemper)

I used Tim’s Tim Holtz’s Quotations stickers to dress up the pediments, and his Game Spinners as metal accents.

Listen to Your Heart Tag Art (Marjie Kemper)

Propping up my tag with a few stacks of mat board made it appear a bit 3-D.

See Possibility Everywhere Shadow Box Collage


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Linking to AVJ

Please be sure to visit A Vintage Journey Blog for loads of inspiration every month. I’d love to know if you enter the challenge. Please let me know in the comments below so I can come see what you’ve created.

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Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. I somehow managed to completely miss this at the time… amazing Oxide stencilling. I’ve left some more love back at AVJ!
    Alison x

  2. What glorious fall colors you achieved on your tags Margie! A beautiful fall color project as Guest DT for AVJ! Thank you for sharing it with us! Julia xx

  3. Gigi Black says:

    Very nice Margie! I wasn’t a fan of Distress Oxide when it was released, but now I LOVE them

  4. This is an amazing project Marjie!! Love the colors and how you used the tag tops!

  5. This is such a great project Marjie, I love everything about it! After reading your post I had to check out those OttLites and was delighted to find they are available in the UK :). Thanks so much for guesting with us at AVJ and for the shout out!! xxx

  6. Linda M Sheridan says:

    Marjie, you are a very talented artist and I appreciate your work. I just wish you would complete a piece without advertising product after product after product. Just your talent is needed! I would enjoy more a piece with acrylic colors and substrate without naming someone else’s product line.

    • Marjie Kemper says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Linda. I appreciate what you’re saying. I hope you understand that for many artists, using affiliate links helps offset the numerous expenses incurred in running our small businesses. Have a great weekend!

  7. You’ve created a brilliant Autumn piece, and it was so fun to see how it all came together! Thank you for being our Guest at A Vintage Journey and for the guide as well! Hugs! Sara Emily

  8. Chris Slater says:

    This is fabulous Marjie. I love the warm autumnal colours – my favourites 🙂 You have encouraged me to get my inks out and just play. After all if all goes wrong it’s only a bit if card and ink. Thank you for your inspiration xx

  9. Your tray is stunning Marjie, the autumnal hues are gorgeous and I love how you create so much depth with your stencilling and stamping! It is always such a pleasure to have you guesting with us! Hugs, Anne xx