Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Secret Garden

Hello Everyone,

It is a bit nippy over here in the East of England but I know many of you more central and west are having some well earned sunshine and Spring like weather this week so enjoy. 

Over at A Vintage Journey they have a new way of doing things which is really exciting.  For a while now every month the wonderful design team have been given a travel bag of goodies to use and have shown us some brilliant inspiration using just a few items.  Now everyone can join in with the AVJ March Challenge, so I thought I would give it a go.  The items we have in our travel bags are Board, Rust effects, Metal and Pale Purple or Lilac colours.  Inspired by a film I  remember watching many years ago, I have created a secret door which reveals a little Secret Garden for you.

 I started by cutting mount board with the cabinet die, I cut 5 solid and 3 with an aperture

Next I glued the three apertures onto a solid diecut for the garden, and glued the other 4 solid ones together for the door.  I cut the door in half.
Next was to paint the mount board, first I painted the mount board with gesso and let it dry.  I wanted a wood grain look so I used light strokes of Shaded Lilac Paint, then repeated once dried with Dusty Concorde.  

Although the Challenge needed primarily Lilac colours, I felt I needed to Grunge it up a little so I used Vintage Photo distress ink to do this.

I used an old Tim Holtz die 'Hardware Findings' to cut a couple of hinges, plus some real metal hinges, lock and key brads and ring pulls.  I rusted them all up with Vintage Photo distress embossing powder
This is the point where things were not quite going to plan! as you can see from the photo, when I put the hinges into place they were far to big.

So I used some shrink plastic to cut 4 new hinges, shrunk them down, and rusted them up.  I was much happier with this result, but felt the wooden door needed to be a bit more realistic.

 I used my pokey tool to drag down the doors to make wood panels.

And then rubbed some Walnut stain paint into the grooves

I used the Spring Greenery decorative strip to cut some foliage and a small flower punch.  Painted the foliage with Forest Moss and Peeled Paint, Shaped them and decorated with seed beads. 

Enjoy the close ups, I love the rust effects.

Did you spot the key to the door hiding in the foliage at the bottom?

 The photo in the centre which gave us the main view was taken by myself at Trentham Gardens, near Stoke on Trent a few years ago.  I like the way the path takes you down the garden to the stone Statue. 

The little Butterflies were fussy cut from some left over Graphic 45 papers and my trusty new typewriter came in handy again here too, 

The Challenge runs until the end of the month so there is still plenty of time to join in and have a chance of winning a fabulous package of Andy Skinner products.  There are also three pinworthies selected by the creative guides who are invited to rejoin them as guest creative guides for a future challenge.  
For all the challenge details Click Here.

Thank you for your visit today.
Mo x


  1. wow Mo - this is so beautiful - what a wonderful idea - I really love the rusting effect you have achieved - brilliant step by step too! Big hugs Rachel xx

  2. Oh Mo, I love your Secret Garden!! You definitely made the right choice in shrinking the hinges, they look amazing - your rusting is superb. I love the picture of the Gardens, the perfect image for a Secret Garden. You made fantastic use of the items in the travel bag too! Love this.

    Thanks so much for joining in this month at A Vintage Journey! Hugs, Anne xx

  3. Wow Mo, I adore your secret garden triptych, open the doors and we are led into a wonderful scene. You have cleverly painted the wood panels and rusted the adornments and added the beautiful foliage to make it look so pretty and authentic. Thanks for joining in with us at AVJ and cleverly using the contents of the travel bag.
    hugs Brenda xxx

  4. Oh wow, what an incredible project Mo, just stunning! Amazing details in every corner and so cleverly put together. Love how you did the doors and your cleverly painted wood panels. The rusted embellishments look super too! Thanks so much for joining us at AVJ too of course! xxx

  5. So so clever Mo, just love your secret garden reveal! Brilliant use of the travel bag ingredients!! Terrific make. Nicola x

  6. This is utterly charming, Mo - I love the construction and the wonderful depth you've created once the doors are opened... I wish I could walk down the path to explore your lovely secret garden. Brilliantly done! Thanks so much for joining us on A Vintage Journey.
    Alison x

  7. What a magical project Mo with beautiful details and flowers. Your rusted accents are brilliant and great use of Shrink Plastic, a craft stash product I certainly forget about at times. Thanks for joining in the birthday celebrations at AVJ and good luck.
    Julie x

  8. Mo, you've taken my breath away with this!!! I saw the Secret Garden doors (remember that film!) and was intrigued and then they opened to reveal, well quite frankly a masterpiece! LOVE your clever choice of photo and all those gorgeous rusted and floral details you've added to bring it all together perfectly. Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey. Jenny x

  9. Great job on this secret garden. Love the way the gate opens and it takes you down the lovely path. Thanks for joining us at A Vintage Journey.

  10. Just wanted to pop back Mo and thank you for visiting my blog and leaving me such a lovely comment on my DecoArt news, I so appreciated it and to say Happy Easter.
    hugs Brenda xxx

  11. What a wonderful secret garden gate! love the hinges and vines and when you open the gate and see that lovely garden - what a treat! such a clever design! thank you so much for joining us in the AVJ Challenge! Julia xx

  12. Your 'secret garden' is utterly charming Mo! The garden photo is such a lovely surprise behind the doors. Love how you did those doors by the way and the shrink plastic hinges - perfect! Thank you so much for joining us at A Vintage Journey. Julia S-W x

  13. That is fabulous, what a gorgeous design and love how it opens up for a view into that beautiful secret garden! Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey, Deb xo