Gauche Alchemy Premier Circle Journal Project

We are sponsoring a circle journal (this is a first for me, personally), which filled up pretty immediately after announcing it.  We’re off and running, and I thought I’d share some of the Design Team’s efforts.  (For more, go to the Circle Journal Flickr group.)

Maggi’s journal theme is “Vintage Bling.”  She created the inside cover of her journal (where the participants “sign in”) with the Hot for Teacher kit, as well as pieces of Blue Streak, red and Wedding Night color kits (see the Flickr group for more pages from Maggi).

maggilo1a

maggilo1b

maggilo2a

maggilo2b

Great work, Maggi!  (I must say, I can’t wait to get my hands on this journal – things always look better in real life, don’t they?)

Here’s mine.  The theme is “Guilty Pleasures.”  One thing I’m learning, as I venture more and more into the messy, textured style I love is this: I do well to work a bit, leave it for a day or two, go back and add a bit more, see how I like it a bit later with fresh eyes, etc.  I kind of “feel” when it’s done.  I also feel when it’s not done, even if I have no idea what it “needs” to be finished.

Here’s the front:

amy journal cover

amy journal front slant

So… first I started with a coat of gesso – to prime the surface (which was slick when I started).  After that, I laid down an darker green acrylic paint.  I mixed a lighter green paint with Golden Pumice Gel Medium and applied that (I hear you can get the same effect by stirring plain old sand into your paint).  I smudged the stucco-ed paint in various places, and also ran a Plaid mini-comb tool through some of it (you don’t need a tool per se – just use whatever is on hand).

Next, I added the vintage images and text, some ouchless cardboard strips (quote stamped with black Staz-on ink), beeswaxed sheet music, and a great piece of textured aluminum (compliments of Nicole, who cut it [carefully!!] from a drink can and ran it through her Cuttlebug).  I applied some maroon and olive green alcohol inks (Tim Holtz Adirondack) to the aluminum and added the title with tiny tab stickers.  **See here for a simple tutorial on how to apply beeswax – so easy!**

(Took a break – started again the next day.)

Those tab stickers were too small, so I added a larger title above, using Staz-on ink in white and black.  I outlined with white gel pen as needed (where it was too blurry to read – one drawback to stamping on a heavily textured surface!).

(Took another break for a day or two.)

I decided that the journal was too dark overall, so I outlined the girl in the shoe with white gel pen, stamped some text with Staz-on white opaque ink, and added the border freehand with white acrylic paint.

Then I decided the white around the edges looked TOO white, so I sprayed all over with Tiger Lily Glimmer Mist – a wonderful invention.  Once satisfied, I covered it all with a layer of Mod Podge.

Back cover similar to front cover – except I also added flourish stamps.

amy journal back cover

Take home message: consider letting a project “stew” for several days before deciding it’s done.  I often leave a project for a while if I’m “stuck” and the mojo is just not flowing.  I often think of the next step in quiet moments – lying in bed at night or rocking my daughter.  Then I can’t wait to get back to my studio!

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7 Responses

  1. Looking mahhhhhhvelous!! Can’t wait to see these in person!!

  2. WOW!! This looks fantastic…can’t wait until it gets to my house!!

  3. Serious Fun!

  4. Wow, I adore what you did for your journal and you’re right about seeing these in person, they are even more amazing! Thanks for all of the tips!

  5. Thanks for sharing your process with us Amy.

  6. Really beautiful journals ladies!! Looks like you will have great fun with this!!

  7. all of the journals i have seen so far are so awesome! such amazing work and fantastic quality! i still need to upload my pics to the gallery…ugh, been so stressed out lately. promise to get to it soon so please don’t beat me! LOL!

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