16 September 2020

Staying in the Background with The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog

Hi everyone and welcome. It's time for another challenge over at the The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog. Cec is your host for this one and she has called it 'Staying in the Background'. "My challenge to you is to create your own background and use it in a shabby chic or vintage project - no pre-printed patterned paper this time. You can create the background in any number of ways and it can be simple or intricate. Using embossing folders. stencils, dies, stamps, washi tape, paints, inks or a gel press are just a few ideas. Make sure you give a brief description of how you created your background in your post."

As ever, the Design Team will choose their top four picks, with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog and three additional outstanding entries will receive Top 3 Badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

A new challenge provides another opportunity to add to my journal, and getting the chance to make a background or two is always a treat. Here's how the finished spread ended up...

... and looking at each page closer - totally different yet coordinated.

I've put together a tutorial to show how these backgrounds were created, starting with some painty play from my previous journal spread using Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paints, a brayer and a 3 x 5 Gel Plate. Each 'pull' was made with heavyweight tissue paper (packaging material should never be binned!)

Here's a trick I learned from watching Seth Apter and others demo using Gel Plates and brayers - roll off the excess paint onto a scrap of paper and watch the magic happen as each layer goes on. I used more packaging, this time some of the brown paper stuff, because it gives you a great base colour and is sturdy without being too thick to cut/die cut.

Adding to the detail I used some white gesso through the Finnabair Prima Stencil 'Vintage Wallpaper', deliberately making it patchy, before using a dip pen with some of Seth's Izink Pigment Ink for mark making. You'll see below how the paper has been torn into sections to be used in different parts of my journal - it can also help to break up what can become an 'orderly, designed' background into more random pieces.

I used a couple of these pieces, having scraped some 'Avalanche' Izink Pigment Ink over one of them to shift the intensity of the colour.

Going back to the Gel Plate prints I chose to use this one, created by brayering one of the paler paint colours onto the Gel Plate and stamping into it with Wendy Vecchi's 'All Scratched Up' Background Stamp before adding further layers of deeper colour. You can also stamp over your painty backgrounds with this stamp and a pale permanent ink for a similar look.

More white gesso was applied through another Finnabair Prima Stencil 'Dandelions' onto one of the darker Gel Plate prints.

Finally I chose to use another couple of the Gel Plate Prints, ones with patterns created by the paint application alone. Small strips were cut from each of the selected papers and edged with Wendy Vecchi's 'Acorn' Archival Ink.

After arranging the strips onto the journal page (instructions from an old sewing pattern given a thin coat of white gesso) I changed my mind and chopped them into smaller pieces, messing around with the placement until they looked balanced. You'll see a shadow around the edge of each piece, created by using a charcoal pencil and blending it with water. Try using dilute paint, blended Distress Crayon or regular pencil with a blender for a similar look. At this point I realised the page looked like a quilt, hence the reason for adding faux stitches around each section with a white gel pen.

The corresponding page already had a lot of detail, having been constructed from a handkerchief and a piece of watercolour paper, so I kept it simple by stamping and heat embossing Wendy Vecchi's 'All Scratched Up' Background again (this time in gold). You'll see a small piece of vintage lace added over the top; it's always worth checking old, worn linens and bedding for trims which can be recycled in your projects.

With both backgrounds complete I kept the 'topper' for the 'quilted' one relatively simple, die cutting some of the Sizzix 'Hidden Leaves' Thinlits Dies from black card and dry brushing them with 'Gilt' Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint. Adding drops of Wendy Vecchi's 'Carnation' Liquid Pearls, some Glossy Accents and a little stitching helps to lift the finished look.

With the second embossed background being a lot simpler it was easier to add more detail on top, starting with a tag cut from the brayered brown paper. The stitched lines from the quilted page were echoed around the edge of the tag and I included more texture with fabric, sheer ribbon, simple hand stitching and an embroidered flower from my stash. The lovely phrase, taken from Wendy Vecchi's 'Rosy Art' Stamp Set, was stamped onto one of the backgrounds chosen for the 'quilt'. 

Looking more closely you can see how each of the layers work together;

So that's my take on the theme 'Staying in the Background'. My talented team mates have also come up with their own projects with bespoke backgrounds in or on them for this challenge so make sure you hop on over and check them out HERE. And remember to link up your own shabby chic or vintage pieces to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes that's up for grabs.

Thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

Products used to create this journal page are available from The Funkie Junkie Boutique and are listed/linked below.


  1. Layers and Layers of gorgeousness! This journal is just getting more and more beautiful! Love the beautiful berries of that wonderful background.

  2. I adore everything about this Jenny, it's again full of everything I love to create with a hint of lovely lace. Beautiful used backgrounds and the faux stitching really adds to the design.
    Fantastic!! Thank you for the inspiration. Creative wishes Tracey x

  3. Wow!!! More fabulous pages in your book!!! I love all the details of both pages!!!

  4. Jenny, just when I think your makes could not get any better, one comes along and tops the last! I'm so inspired by your pages and your clever way of adding to them with the 'quilt squares' and (oh, my goodness!) those incredible details of die cuts and stitching on top! Be still, my heart! These pages make for a true masterpiece! Bravo!


Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comments - they are really appreciated. Jenny xxx

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