Michelle’s Mini Guide to Hipstamatic

Well hellooo there!

I’m Michelle and this is my first post for Gauche Alchemy! I am SO excited! Today I want to take a few minutes to talk up a fabulous app for your iPhone called Hipstamatic.

Norman outlook on the Amalfi Coast- Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film

I know this is a pretty sophisticated audience. (You wouldn’t be shopping our delicious wares otherwise!)  But just in case you don’t already have it, Hipstamatic is an app that spices up your iPhone photos with lens and film effects. Each “lens” and “film” combination adds different borders, lens effects, funky colors or enhances contrast. You can also share your photos much like Instagram on Facebook, Twitter or via email (there are more options but those are the ones I use).

Solar Flare Portrait  Chunky lens, Cano Cafenol film

This isn’t a format for lovers of perfect focus or high definition images with lots of detail. The effects aren’t even predictable but that’s the fun part! To the left of the lens graphic on your iPhone screen there is a switch that allows you to choose “high quality” or “standard quality”. Keep the camera on the high quality setting- there are no drawbacks as both settings are relatively low resolution. You will be able to fit thousands of photos in your iPhone – my 32 gig iTouch is currently holding 3,849 photos and there’s plenty of room for more.

Power Plant- John S Lens, Blanko film

Hipstamatic also has a print shop where you can order 4×4 or 7×7 prints and have them mailed to you.  I personally use Adobe Photoshop to add several images to an 8×10 page and print them at home. Printing the square format photos at your local drugstore will only yield images that have been cropped heavily on both sides unless you are a Photoshop software wiz who can add white bars to the photo for proper automatic printing.

My favorite lenses are:

The Libatique 73 gives the photo a gorgeous antique brown and cream tone but also softens and preserves the strongest colors so you get some nice color pop effects.

Helping Daddy Fly a kite- Libatique 73 Alfred Infrared

The Buckhorst H1 evens out the contrast on a photo and gives it a sunny yellow tint.

Buckhorst H1 lens and Ina’s 1969 film

The Watts Lens gives your photos a hot pink cast, especially around the borders and is high contrast so it’s best for inside or cloudy day shots. Photos taken in sunny weather look great but you will get black holes where eyes should be- kinda creepy.

Cloudy Sky- Watts Lens and Big Up Film

My Fave films are:

Big Up film- the companion “film” to the Watts lens, it gives your photos a randomly chosen pink, yellow, white or black duct tape border which is UTTERLY fabulous!

Beach Toes- Watts Lens and Big Up Film

Black Keys Super Grain- gives the photo a stark black and white grainy look with a black border- great for moody “Here’s Lookin’ at you kid” shots.

Reader at High Line Park-  John S lens, Black Keys Super Grain Film

Ina’s 1969- gives the photo a retro slide border and an overall bluish cast. Fantastic retro effect!

Paestum, Italy. Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film

Now go on and shoot yourself silly!


Gauche Alchemy Peep Show

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with some more sneaky peekys to whet your appetite for the Gauche Alchemy birthday celebration relaunch extravaganza on 9/1! Our Alchemists have been working hard to bring you some amazing creations in September.

Some things are sweet and some things…well…not so much but they are all drowning in Gauche.

Now, since I write the posts that make the whole world read, I’ve seen all of these projects in their Gauche-y glory and yes…they are glorious.

GA is celebrating their birthday on 9/1 and I’m really looking forward to sharing the new design team’s talent with you!

We have a ROCKIN’ guest designer for September and I cannot WAIT to introduce them to you. You are going to spit booze (or whatever tasty beverage you enjoy while surfing the web) all over your computer monitor when you see what they’ve created with our goodies. But that’s all I can say. No more for you, naughty one, until next month. Nope, don’t try to bribe me, I’ve promised to wait until September and that’s what I mean to do…Come now…don’t pout! …

Oh what hell, here’s a sneak peek from September’s guest designer!

Oh yeah baby! September’s shaping up to be the best birthday month ever! We’ll be celebrating all week with posts out the ying yang. There will be a prize here and if you’re savvy enough to hang with us on our Facebook page, you’ll see even more awesome Gauche stuff to win!

Now help us celebrate GA’s birthday by gluing something awesome onto some awesome something! (And when you’re done, upload it to our Flickr group or Facebook page!)

Collage art– it’s not just for Kindergarten!

It’s a cloudy day here in the desert (quite unusual for May!), and I went in search of some new art inspiration to feed my soul.  And let me tell you, the art world is rich with mixed media and collage work…I was inspired, indeed!

Take a look:

I am really loving the monochromatic quality of this one!  In fact, there just may be a kit full of these neutral, faded tones released soon *hint hint*

 Looking at all this amazing collage work has really inspired me to look at the things around me (even trash!) in a new way.  Receipt from the convenience store?  Ticket stub?  Old letter?  Discarded ribbon?  All of these things can be used to create art that is personal and meaningful.

I encourage you to take some time to think about what inspires you, and how you can incorperate everyday objects into your art.  And then leave us a comment and tell us about it!

**all artwork found on www.notpaper.com**

Before Halloween is too distant a memory…

Here is a clever project from Merdrey!

I had this sunglasses from CHA Summer this year just waiting to be altered! I covered the lens with punchinellas and cluttered stuff from the Black Out mixed media kit and Lady Marmelade mixed media kit at the corners! Now to go ‘BOO!’



And Yvonne – how awesome is this?  Love the Alice in Wonderland graphics and the google eyes on the Cheshire Cat!

I upcycled an old food container and decorated the lid with bits from the various color kits.

Who loves treats

How about you?  Share your Halloween projects with us in our Flickr group!  You never know – you might end up featured in our next ssue of DIRT! (our newsletter).

Better Living Through Scrapbooking

If you haven’t yet heard, Angela has a new challenge blog, Better Living Through Scrapbooking.  Gauche Alchemy is sponsoring October, and I somehow spaced telling you all about it.  I’m just a little ADD.  Sometimes.

But it’s not too late to participate!  Head on over to their blog, take a look around, soak up the inspiration, and get your entries in! There are a bunch of prizes to be had, including a Nature Calls mixed media and scrapbooking kit, with all its buggy goodness and luscious colors!

Better Living Through Scrapbooking is not your average challenge site.  Their tag line is “Challenges to Heal Your Soul and Inspire Your Mind.”  It’s for those of us who desire to go beyond merely documenting the strictly happy times with cutsey titles and smiling pictures.  In Angela’s own words:

Life is awesome.  It’s filled with ups and downs, good decisions and not-so-great decisions, fabulous experiences and the occasional yuckiness.  Each and every moment we experience in life is ours, and we should embrace them for what they are, regardless of whether they’re good or bad.  After all, every experience in life offers us a chance to learn from the outcome.

Want to play along?

Here are the current challenges; all have deadlines of 10/31/10.  A new challenge goes up each week, so keep an eye out!

Recycle, Renew, Reuse

About Me

Favorite Color

Here’s Yvonne’s layout for the Recycle, Renew, Reuse challenge.  How frickin’ AWESOME is this?!
We have to save earth

I make a conscious effort to be green especially when it comes to crafting….stretching the use of supplies and using “found” objects on my projects. While I love the effect of luscious layers on my layouts, I try to accomplish depth through inking and mixing different textures instead of adding layers of paper on top of each other. Not only do I do my part for the environment, my scrapbooks are lighter and less bulky! :)

I love this Pink Paislee paper (base). It has some resist design so all I had to do was ink with some distress inks and mist a little with some glimmer mist. The burlap fabric is from the Gauche Alchemy BabyKiddoCutie Papercraft kit. I also used Ouchless cardboard to add a little dimension to my layout! And those pull-off tabs tell you how many drinks I’ve had! ;)

Here’s Merdrey’s – mmmm… those found objects are making me drool.  (Oh yeah, and the food too… *ahem*.)

For this challenge i used Gauche Alchemy’s Ouchless Cardboard and packaging from The Hand Burger restaurant! My friend and i were in awe of the packaging and thought it made the whole eating experience much more interesting! And glitter was used to bring out the Hand Burger logo =)

The Hand Burger Experience

The Hand Burger Experience

Check out the toothpick-like labels!
The Hand Burger Experience

Our lovely, talented Kas is also on the Better Living Through Scrapbooking DT, so be sure to head on over there and check out what she’s done, as well – the ladies over there have been using GA supplies all month – see if you can spot them!

Stay tuned tomorrow for another annoucement about how to win more GA goodness by participating in another challenge we are sponsoring!  This one has a Halloween-based theme.  Boo!

Artist Spotlight-Theresa MacNaughton

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with an awesome Artist Spotlight to share with you! I’m so excited to introduce this talented gal with you all, we’ve been visiting each other’s blogs for a while and I’ve found her to be the sweetest and one of the most creative ladies I know.

Please help me welcome: Theresa MacNaughton!

Theresa graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her work for Gauche Alchemy. She runs an Etsy shop, maintains a blog and Twitters like a mad woman. :P You can also find Theresa on Flickr and Facebook.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you are from, how long you’ve been creating and why you like to create.

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. Whenever other kids were outside playing, I was always in the family room listening to music and drawing away. I used to create my own “comic strips” – although I have no idea where those have gone to. Fortunately, I still have my portfolio of work from high school – and it’s a lot of fun to look back on what I worked on back then, which is often whatever I wanted. I drew endless portraits of rock musicians and actors.

I also was able to make some pocket money from commissioned portraits from other students and even teachers! I think I always knew I wanted to do something creative. At one point, I had an interest in attending school for fashion design. I had lots of notebooks filled with my little drawn models wearing outlandishly fun fashions that I created. I so wish I knew what I did with all those journals!

I love to create because I need to express myself. A life without art or music or literature or film is just meaningless to me. To me, the perfect day would be spent in an art gallery followed by a concert, play or film. I’m fortunate to be married to a man who feels the exact same way. We live in central Connecticut with our two dogs, Willow and Neo. I’m a New England girl to the core. I was originally born in Massachusetts, but I’ve spent the majority of my life in Connecticut. I’d really love to live in Maine or Vermont, though…maybe someday!

What crafts do you currently create and what do you enjoy making the most?

I create beaded jewelry, hand knit accessories such as scarves and fingerless gloves, and mixed media paintings – which I offer for sale in my etsy shop. I love to dabble in poetry and photography. And I just purchased some paper clay, so hopefully that little experiment will work out well! I love creating all of them equally. I think that the paintings allow me to express myself more freely, however. My mindset when I create is to please myself first. If I’m not happy with something I’ve made, then how could someone else be?

Who or what inspires you to create?

My inspiration table

The seasons definitely influence my creations. I’ve been feeling the urge to knit again – now that fall is almost here (thank goodness). There was also a show on Bravo called Work of Art. I’d watch every episode at least two or three times. It definitely inspired me to get cracking on my art. My husband and I enjoyed critiquing each show. My favorite artists were Abdi and Peregrine. I’ve also become fascinated with mixed media art, which combines collage, pencil art and painting. Suzi Blu has helped me learn this medium and I love it! It was through her wonderful and fun online art courses that I’ve been able to reignite my passion for creating art. I’ve always enjoyed folk art (Tasha Tudor, Grandma Moses) and many new online friends were creating mixed media art – and I so wanted to learn!

I love the whimsical look and feel of your jewelry! I noticed that you and your husband design and collaborate on the pieces you make. What is it like working with your husband? Is he naturally creative or did he just get on board with you? lol

Some of my husband’s work

My husband is an artistic soul, and he loves exploring new mediums. When I first started creating jewelry, I was only using digital collage images and pasting them onto little glass pendants strung onto ball chain. I wanted to do more – and my husband came along for the ride! He creates the wire and hammered copper jewelry pieces. I conceptualize and approve everything! He enjoys doing it and has said the entire process has helped him “think like a woman.” He’s actually done pieces over because they were not “in my style.”

You own and run Faerie Moon Creations on Etsy. What it’s like selling your creations and making it a business? Any tips for our readers that might be thinking of selling their work online?

It’s really fun to sell my creations. I am always amazed and grateful when someone purchases an item from me. It’s like the first sale over and over again. I never take it for granted. I’m somewhat of a shy person, so I enjoy the “anonymity” of having an online shop as opposed to a brick and mortar store. But I work just as hard to make the shop pretty and offer new items and sales. I’ve only been selling my creations online for one year – but it’s been great. There has been some uncertainties along the way, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. I would say to readers interested in selling to not get discouraged. Plan everything out well in advance before opening your shop…your name, graphics, photographs, shop policies. There is always much to be learned – I am still finding things out!

You host Terrifically Talented Thursdays on your blog to spotlight other artists. Can you tell us more about that?

I LOVE discovering new artisans and shops. I rarely buy goods at big name stores any longer. I prefer to shop handmade – there is quality and care and a story behind each and every item. I initially did a little “featured artisan” of the day on Facebook, but I wanted to do a little more. So, I created Terrifically Talented Thursday on my blog as a way to more fully feature artisans and their products. The feature ran each Thursday and put the spotlight on two different artisans. Oftentimes, they would be kind enough to offer a giveaway item or great discount at their shops. I had a lot of time to do this during the summer months, but with the busy season approaching – I have decided to put the weekly feature on hold and will revisit it at a later date. I think it would be fun to run the features seasonally. I have an idea for a Halloween-themed feature already!

You’re recently started sharing your original mixed media pieces. Can you tell us your history with mixed media and what has inspired these latest works?

I only started creating mixed media pieces this summer! I really wanted to learn the technique. I found the art to be such a wonderful mix of modern collage and folk art, both of which interest me greatly. Suzi Blu’s classes are phenomenal – she teaches you her technique while allowing you to develop your own style. They are affordable, as well, and you get to view videos – which is very important because you get to see how the process instead of just reading about it.

What is your favorite mixed media technique?

I assume there are lots of different methods in which to create mixed media. But with the way I’ve been learning, I really love working with colored pencils. I was SO afraid of them years ago and avoided them like the plague! They were more like glorified crayons to me. LOL But now that I understand how I can successfully create depth and shadows, I love using them!

You share a lot of the pictures of nature you’ve taken while on walks and the like. What is it that appeals to you about life outdoors and does that influence your creations?

My butterfly muse

I love nature and animals and faerie tales. I’ve always been kind of a dreamer. I’ve always tended to treat animals like people. I carry on conversations with them and play with them. Nature inspires me – as it captures the raw beauty of this world. I find endless fascination in discovering beautiful new flowers and scavenging for seeds and mushrooms, searching for animal tracks in the mud or snow, sneaking up upon butterflies drinking nectar, staring out at the wide open ocean dreaming of being a selkie. A lot of my work features nature-inspired elements – I like to make things that are pretty and fun and feminine.

You have different sections in your shop specifically for Marie Antoinette and Alice in Wonderland pieces. What is it about Antoinette and Wonderland that inspires you?

Marie Antoinette is the epitome, to me, of elegance. I tried to capture her elegance in some of the jewelry I’ve created. And I just LOVE Alice in Wonderland – all the colors and characters and craziness. We really tried to make some fun and zany pieces to reflect the whimsy and wonder of the world that Lewis Carroll created.

What are your top 3 “must have” art supplies?

Paint, yarn and beads

Any last words of creative wisdom for our readers?

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination.” — John Keats

If there is something in your life that you are passionate about, go for it! You’ll never know if you’ll succeed if you don’t try. For so many years, I felt a bit of emptiness inside and now I’ve come to realize what it was. I need to create, to live a life filled with passion – and to be able to share that with others is icing on the cake.

**Theresa is offering Gauche Alchemy readers a 20% discount off any regular priced jewelry or knit item from her shop, Faerie Moon Creations! You MUST reference this blog feature (so she knows you found it here!) to receive the discount. Offer good on jewelry and knit items only until September 30th.**

Thanks for the interview Theresa, we here at Gauche Alchemy love discovering artists to share with our readers! You rock!

Have a great day everyone and don’t forget to go glue something awesome onto some awesome something! :D
Want to know what else is brewing at Gauche Alchemy?

Get our ACME kit delivered to your door every month with our ACME Subscription service!
Go shopping for your own Gauche goodies in our rockin’ Store!
E-mail us anytime: gauchealchemy@cox.net
Join the Gauche party on Facebook!
Stalk us on Twitter!
Drool over Gauche creations and add your own in our Flickr Group!

Theme Day is in The Cards

Hi everyone!

Maggi here with this month’s Theme Day! Today we’re talking all about ATCs and I cannot wait to show you the Design Team’s creations!

ATC stands for “Artist Trading Card”, think like a baseball card for artists. They can be made of anything on any subject but they have to be 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in size. You can keep your ATCs for your greedy little self or “trade” them with other ATC artists. There’s even an entire forum, ATCs for All that is dedicated just to Artist Trading Cards. But enough chit chat, on to the cards! :D


I made this ATC using the ACME Kit and the Kitsch Delish Kit.

Deb made this awesome ATC, complete with spinning disk!


I used braille paper from the Wholey Sheet Kit and rivet/stud thingy from the Wedding Night Mixed Media Color Kit. LOVE that bit of paper with Braille writing!

Erika made these two pretty ATCs:


I did a little masking on canvas paper and used Ouchless Cardboard and parts from the It’s All Gravy, Baby, Lady Marmelade and Envy Mixed Media Color Kits.


I started off with a cardboard label from a t-shirt as my base and used distress ink and acrylic paint on it (mainly to bring out the raven, love raven images) I used bits from Black Out (the dagger, which I alcohol inked), Purple People Eater and Scarlet Fever Mixed Media Color Kits.


This ATC is titled “LOVE makes the world go round”! Mounted in a frame =) I used the Ouchless Cardboard as a base..topped off with the punchinella and stuff from the Pink Parts and Banana Hammock Mixed Media Color Kits!

And there you have it!  ATCs out the wazoo for your eye candy enjoyment.  :D  Do you create ATCs?  What’s your favorite ATC technique?  We’d love to see your ATCs so why not share them in our Flickr Group?

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!  :D

Want to know what else is brewing at Gauche Alchemy?

Get our ACME kit delivered to your door every month with our ACME Subscription service!
Go shopping for your own Gauche goodies in our rockin’ Store!
E-mail us anytime: gauchealchemy@cox.net
Join the Gauche party on Facebook!
Stalk us on Twitter!
Drool over Gauche creations and add your own in our Flickr Group!


Hot Hot Hop!

If you’ve joined us from the Bombshell Stamp/Gauche Alchemy blog hop, welcome!  The theme of this blog hop is HOT HOT HOT!  Perhaps you love (as do I) Marilyn Monroe’s whimsical ways in the movie “Some Like it Hot”…or hot rod cars, or a hot tamale (do they still make that candy?).  For Amy and I who live in the wretched desert of Phoenix, the word hot is something very specific and tangible to us…like the 115 degree day we enjoyed today!

All sweating aside, I’d like to suggest that HOT is more that just a temperature; it’s a state of mind.

Feeling inspired, I decided to create a little card in honor of summer.  I used some of the cardstock and vintage children’s books featured in the premier installment of our Acme kit subscriptions.  I then added some embellishments from the the Blue Streak color kit, and used the Tattoo font stamps from Bombshell to give it a happy title.

Don’t you love the pink tile in our master bathroom– circa 1957, I believe!

Well, you’ve got alot of hopping to do, so you better get on with it! But before you go, please leave a comment here; the Gauche Alchemy prize for this hop will be a random drawing from the commenters on THIS post for a triple color kit with Banana Hammock, Lady Marmalade, and Scarlet Fever.

Here’s the list…make sure to say hi to all the girls and see what hot hot ideas they’ve come up with!
Gauche Alchemy **you are here**
Merdrey Chew

Merdrey Gets the Picture

Hello! It’s Merdrey checking in on the blog…how’s life?

Well..I was trying to scrap this photo a few of us Gauche gals took at CHA…

Gauche Alchemy Gals(Gauche Alchemy DT members: Kas, me and Angela)

…and my printer ran out of ink..so did my photo printer.  How lucky is that?! (For the record, we were all pointing at my bag as I gave a picture of it to Kas and Angela to locate me on the showfloor! *hahahaha*)

So anyway, life is not without challenges..so l decided to go photo-less!

I grabbed some Gauche Alchemy supplies and set down to work with nothing in my mind…just looking to see if anything fits. Sometimes, when we are dying to create but our mojo seems to have taken a holiday, it is good to just grab some supplies and go with the flow. There’s no right or wrong in art anyway. If you don’t like what you see, set it aside and work with it next time. Sometimes I just tear it apart and start over…there’s really nothing wrong with it.

So tadaaa!



I love going through my Gauche kits as you never really know what part of history is hidden in your pack. If you love vintage ephemera and pleasant surprises, maybe you should get a Gauche Alchemy ACME Kit Subscription too =) Till next time!

Hugs, Merdrey

Want to know what else is brewing at Gauche Alchemy?

Brand new! Get our ACME kit delivered to your door every month with our ACME Subscription service!
Go shopping for your own Gauche goodies in our rockin’ Store!
E-mail us anytime: gauchealchemy@cox.net
Join the Gauche party on Facebook!
Stalk us on Twitter!
Drool over Gauche creations and add your own in our Flickr Group!

Flickr Me This, Batman

Hey everyone, Maggi here with some end of week creative type inspiration brought to you by the letters G and A (as in Gauche Alchemy of course). :D I was just checking out all of the eye candy in the GA Flickr group and wanted to share some of these awesome projects with you!


City Idol

Altered Ampersand

Inspiration board in progress

Beach Babe

Pretty Girl

live the questions

Fantastic stuff, right?! There’s so much more eye candy to drool over so head over to the Gauche Alchemy group and check it out! I’d like to thank everyone that posts their work in our Flickr group. We live to see what you create with Gauche Alchemy, makes us feel like we’re a part of what you’re doing and we love it! If you’re not already, I invite you to join our Flickr group and post your own GA creations!

Have a great weekend full of inspiration, creativity and paint fumes!

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something! :D
Want to know what else is brewing at Gauche Alchemy?

Go shopping for your own Gauche goodies in our rockin’ Store!
E-mail us anytime: gauchealchemy@cox.net
Join the Gauche party on Facebook!
Stalk us on Twitter!
Drool over Gauche creations and add your own in our Flickr Group!


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