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The VIC Pictorial: Challenge WINNERS, and Mary O'Neil!
June 20, 2010

Issue #63: Big news all around! On the personal front, Martin has decided to retire from teaching after 34 wonderful and exhausting years. This is his last week! The past decade of Kindergarten was the best (including 2009 Teacher of the Year award!), but it has taken its toll, too. All of you teachers - you understand. Now he can devote ALL his time to VintageImageCraft with me!

On the crafty side, The VIC Pictorial has NEWS FOR YOU:

  • Fireworks and a brass band for the winners of the VIC Patriotic Creative Challenge!
  • One potato, two potato, HOT POTATO... meet rubber stamp diva, Mary O'Neil.
  • Throw yourself a little party with B. Nute Productions.
Let's get crafting...


The VIC Patriotic Creative Challenge!

13 colonies
13 stripes on the American flag
13 stars on the Great Seal

And now - 13 glorious artistic submissions to the VIC Patriotic Creative Challenge. Each artist submitted photos of their inspired artwork, created with vintage images from And each waved the flag of creativity, skill, vision and - good old Yankee know-how.

The judges, Roni Johnson, Justine Frederick, Scott Henderson and Martin Bray, selected the works of three artists to receive the top awards in this Patriotic Creative Challenge. And the winners are...


Patriotic Bingo Card Ornament by Berta Feige
Bingo Card Ornament
by Berta Feige

Miss Patriotic Crown by Kay Tangner
Miss Patriotic Crown
by Kay Tangner


Hip Hip Hooray Soaps by Cindy Adkins
Hip-Hip-Hooray Soaps
by Cindy Adkins


Vintage Patriotic Bingo Card Ornament by Berta Feige delighted the judges with a strong thematic focus and creative, professional execution. The patriotic embellishments include glass glitter and rhinestones, silver tinsel, and pleated crepe paper for a bunting-like ruffle at the bottom. We were quite torn between this ornament and Berta's Rosette Ornament, but this one just set off the fireworks!


Miss Patriotic Crown by Kay Tangner really popped for the judges because of Kay's wild setting for the front-and-center vintage image. She added unique touches with creative embellishments that made the image so dimensional, like sewn-on buttons, a beaded necklace, flags, tassels, and more. Kay made this one for her niece's birthday on July 4!


Hip-Hip-Hooray Soaps by Cindy Adkins are both decorative and practical. These little soaps boast antiqued vintage images, and embellishments like buttons, flags, raffia and cheesecloth. The judges were impressed by Cindy's attention to detail, front and back, as well as her artistic photo styling and setting.

HONORABLE MENTION was awarded to the Patriotic Kissing Ball by Margaret Diggs. This Victorian whimsy displays some meticulous work, from creating the ball to making the tea bag roses and the natural fiber embellishments. Wonderful work!

You can see all of the remarkable entries (and add your comments!) at:

THANK YOU to the adventurous artists who submitted their inspired pieces for this Patriotic Creative Challenge. We hope you had as much fun creating your artwork as we did experiencing it. We want to see you again for our next Challenge!

Interviews with Artists and Authors

Meet Mary Benagh O'Neil: "I was born to stamp..."

Mary O'Neil photoMary Benagh O'Neil doesn't see rubber stamping as small potatoes. It is big business, and her famous rubber stamp company is called Hot Potatoes because that was how she got her start. As a Girl Scout, Mary discovered the joy of carved potato printing. With one spectacularly successful potato-printed tee-shirt, Mary became a professional printer. Her fledgling rubber stamp company made the leap to prime time with the help of television and Carol Duvall. Read her complete interview here.

Inspiring Books 'n Blogs

B Nute ProductionsOkay, maybe it was the sudden burst of retirement parties for Martin. I found myself surfing around looking at party decoration blogs. I struck vintage gold at B. Nute Productions! Betsy Nute Beier is a designer with a powerful work ethic - party, party, party. We love her blog and shop because it combines some of our great loves - vintage style, hand-made decorations, madcap ideas, and stuff for children, too. Yes, it is party oriented, but you'll get ideas for cards, crafts, and fun family projects. Give yourself a little party time and visit B. Nute Productions!

Next Issue

Now that Martin will be home (ah, relaxing retirement...), I hope I can get him to work on some new crafts, a new card-making e-book, restore several thousand vintage photos, clean the craft room and garage, paint the window frames, and... relax of course.

So, with all the changes around here, our July issue of THE VIC PICTORIAL will have to remain a secret. Until we figure it out.

Congratulations again to our Patriotic Creative Challenge winners! And a very special THANK YOU to our Celebrity Judges, Justine Frederick and Roni Johnson - two of the most accomplished and thoughtful artists we know.

Scott & Martin
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