Layering Techniques for Paper Crafting, Part One

Good morning everyone!  Marilyn here, with a brand new video from Alchemist Amy.  Today, using elements from the Moshi Moshi Kit, Amy is going to give us her take on the technique of layering and demonstrate for us how to get started (we also get a sneak peek at the final product-LOVE!).  So without further ado or to-do, Amy, show us your stuff……………….

Thank you Amy.  Extremely enlightening and easy to understand!  I loved the part about using a horizon line to give you a starting point and help draw the eye, through the use of layers, to the main focul point (the picture or subject).  This is something I never considered and a definite “must do” my next time in the studio.  It will make layering sooooo much easier!

Folks, hang around because on Wednesday, May 16th, Maggi is going to share with us the second installment of Amy’s layering technique and on Friday, May 18th, Jenn (aka Scraps) is going to share the third and final installment.  Now, I’m off to find my scissors, glue, and paper.  It’s layering time people!

Until later…………………
Smiles~
Marilyn

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Stuck Sticks to Get You Creating

Hi there, folks! Scraps, here, with a necessity-is-the-crafter-of-inspiration project from Alchemist Jo!

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Jo: I keep myself busy with quite a few art challenges which is great for inspiration but every so often I want to create something just for me, just because I can, just because.  So there I am, I’ve set aside some time, I’m sitting in my crafting area and, oh dear,  wondering what I can do.

**Tumbleweed Moment**

I’ll twitch a few pencils, stroke my favourite cardstock but will be stuck for inspiration.  Sound familiar to anyone?!  A-ha!  I now have a solution to this problem!

STUCK STICKS!  You’re stuck?  Pick a stick!

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The pot is a food can (baked beans in this case) covered with washi tape. Have you checked out the Gauche Alchemy WASHI TAPE yet?!  My secret mission is to end up with one of each set!  It’s so easy to use and looks wonderful (especially if I don’t drool over it!).

The sticks are coffee shop wooden stirrers (ok ok, I drink too much coffee) which I color-tinted with Distress Inks and Distress Stains.

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I rubber stamped with Staz-on ideas for creative things to do–sometimes very specific like ‘ATC’, ‘alter something’ or ‘watch a gauche video and have a go at the technique’, other ones giving broader inspiration such as ‘quote’, ‘choose a decade’ or ‘open a technique book and have a go at one’.  One of my most effective inspiration un-stucker stickers is to tidy up my crafting area – it’s amazing what gets found and I’m instantly inspired to create :o)

This was a quick and fun little project.  It would be great to team up with a like minded friend and make a set for each other – then you wouldn’t have a clue what idea you were going to pick out, what fun!

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Oh how fun! Not only did she dress up a lot of things that would have otherwise been tossed into the trash, but she made them into an awesome creativity tool for herself! And I love the idea of a stuck stick swap, anyone game?

~Scraps~

PS: As Sunday is Mother’s Day, I just wanted to take a moment to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to our Gauche Mamas, Mom-Alchemists and all our Mom-readers, too! Wishing you much crafty time to indulge your passions!

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Precious in Purple

Hi, Marilyn here with another attention-grabbing, earth-shaking layout from Alchemist Misty.  I have to say, when I saw this, it reached out, grabbed me, and said “Purple Rules!”.

Purple is truly Misty’s gorgeous niece Mallory’s color and Misty is going to show us how she worked her magic on this eye-grabbing layout.  She can always mix that right amount of grunginess with a touch of sweetness to knock us off our feet (& out of our socks).  So, without further ado or to-do, here’s Misty……………………………………….

Because I am out of white/cream cardstock, and don’t plan to buy anymore, I started this layout on a red piece of cardstock instead and covered it in gesso.  Then, I pressed the rectangle grid punchinella into the wet paint for added texture, added my mists and allowed to dry.  From there I started my layering, first using some music paper from the Acme Kit that I misted and adhered with modpodge.  Then, I continued to layer using some white mesh from the Wedding Night Mixed Media Color Kit, some peacock punchinella, and another piece of the same music paper, tucking in a tag to the left for some journaling. 

Close Up

The sentiment at the top of the page came from cardstock found in the Going Postal Mail Art Kit that I matted with some TH tissue tape.

Filmstrip

I had bigger plans for the film strips but changed my mind in the middle of it all.  Unfortunately, they were already tied down with eyelets so they just became part of the design anyway… :) 

Rose Ribbon

I then added the picture and some torquoise rose ribbon as a border.  To add some extra interest, I added pieces of a chicken wire chippy from Scrap FX as well as the “Precious” wordlet.

Mixed Media Layout

Thank you Misty.  Just look at that finished layout!  WOW, doesn’t she make it seem so easy?  A little punchinella here, some layered paper there, give it a good mist, glue on some wording, and KAPOW!, there it is!

Until later………………..
Smiles~
Marilyn


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Blended Paper Backgrounds

Greetings and salutations! Scraps, here, with a fantastic technique two-fer from Alchemist Jo!

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Jo: One of my favorite backgrounds is a blended paper background.  I learned the basic technique from Mary Green when I took her online classes–“Your Vintage Gluebook” and “Collage Coterie”–and have further developed it to suit my style.  I’ve prepared two 4″x6″ postcards to show two variations on the theme.

Firstly, I covered both postcards with pieces of book pages, torn and randomly stuck to the postcards with a gluestick.

blended_paper_collage_background1

Map pages are good, and handwritten letters, receipts, and postage stamps add interest, too. Gauche Alchemy has fab packs of  foreign text paper which would be perfect for a project like this!

For the White Gesso Background

Over the basic blended paper background I added a coating of white gesso.  This can be thinner in some places than others and it’s great to allow some of the background paper to show through.  Remove any excess gesso with a paper towel.  While the gesso is still wet, stick on some pieces of masking tape, making sure it’s well adhered by smoothing down with a bone folder or similar tool.

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Allow to dry.  No, don’t just count to 30 and then carry on–walk away and go to bed.  It’s best to leave it overnight otherwise when you try and remove the tape it’ll take all the collaged paper with it, which is NOT the effect I think you’ll want!  So, once totally dry, peel off the masking tape which will remove some of the gesso and, hopefully, the top layer of some the paper.  Don’t be too gentle when removing the masking tape, think of it as taking a plaster off a cut knee! [Scraps: That's a band-aid to those of us in the States ;-) ]

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Mmmm, this looks so scrummy, I love it!  I then roughly smeared Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Where the gesso has been removed by the masking tape, the Distress Ink will be a much stronger colour.

Using your normal everyday inkjet printer print out your chosen image.  I often use The Graphics Fairy, who has a wonderful selection of images which are free to use.  For this postcard I chose a wonderful moth image.  Remember to flip the image because when it is transferred it will be a mirror image.  Especially remember this if there is writing or numbers on the image that you want to be the right way round.  Allow the ink on the copy to totally dry, not overnight this time but I would allow about half an hour.  Cut out the image and, using a paint brush, coat the IMAGE SIDE of the paper with matte Mod Podge (or similar).  Stick this face down onto your background, making sure there are no air bubbles and, if possible, brayer firmly to totally stick it.  Try and avoid getting the Mod Podge on the back of the paper as this will make it harder to remove later (actually, virtually impossible!).

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IMPORTANT: ALLOW THIS TO DRY OVERNIGHT!

Now comes the magic bit!  Wet the back of the image with clean water (I use a wet paintbrush).  With your finger, gently rub in a circular action.  The image’s paper backing will start to lift in small rolls of paper.  It’s quite messy, but keep with it, adding more water if it starts to feel a bit dry.  Even though you are being careful, some of the image may lift with the backing paper.  That’s OK!  If you wanted a perfect image you’d have simply stuck down the picture, right?  Leave it a few minutes; if there is a white fuzz on your image, then just wet the image again and rub gently, more backing will be removed.

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As you can see I lost a bit of the moth’s wing, but I’m quite happy about that :o)

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I used a quote by Sara Teasdale, rubber stamped onto old book paper and edged with Distress Inks.

For the Clear Gesso Background

Taking the basic blended paper background, I brushed on a coat of clear gesso to seal the background and to provide a decent ‘key’ for the image to adhere to.  The background will, this way, show through clearly.  I dragged Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Once dry I cut out my chosen printer copied image (again from The Graphics Fairy), brushed a coat of matte Mod Podge onto the image and put the image face down onto the blended paper background.  Ensure good adhesion by firmly brayering it.

LEAVE IT TO DRY OVERNIGHT.

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Wet the image with clean water and gently rub the image backing.

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The background is clearly seen through the image, giving rather a dreamy,vintage and/or ghostly effect.

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I drew with a charcoal pencil round the image, smudging it with my finger – this adds some depth (another tip learnt from Mary Green‘s classes).  I also used the charcoal pencil around the edge of the postcard and around the title, taken from an old book.  I used rusty wire to attach the old rusty key to the card.

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I usually go for the instant gratification projects, myself, but this techniques shows that the old saying is true: good things come to those who wait!

~Scraps~

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Life is Beautiful

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share with you a canvas I recently completed. Lately, instead of having a plan of what I want to make, I just start slinging and gluing stuff around to see what sticks. While not always successful, it definitely yields interesting results. :P

Mixed Media Altered Canvas

I started with an 11×14 canvas and Mod Podged a sheet of scrapbook paper to it. BTW, I’ve always used gloss Mod Podge in the past but decided to give matte a whirl and holy crap, it is AWESOME and I’m not using gloss like, ever again. Once you go matte, you never go back!

Misting on canvas

Anyhoo, after that was done I added some Dylusions Ink Sprays (these are so fantastic) in various colors and decided to play around with multiple styles of our Washi Tape. I really wanted to use this glittery ornament I got on clearance after Christmas so he made a home in the bottom corner there.

Christmas ornament on canvas

Next I decided to use some modeling paste with a circle stencil and didn’t feel like that showed up enough so I added some Pearlex powders to it. Once I added the title, “Life is Beautiful”, I felt that it and the washi tape was sort of fading into the background so I outlined all of it with a black pen. Done and done!

Neon letters outlined in black pen

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi :D

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Neon Cuteness in a Tutu (or madness and a camera)

Good Morning Everyone!  Marilyn here with a layout from Alchemist Michelle that is stunning in it’s creative cleverness & just so darn cute to boot.  Michelle, show us what you’ve got…………………………………………..

Mutant Robots Kit

My daughter actually napped today!!! For 2 hours!!!  I got to do some work in actual DAYLIGHT!!!  Using the same basic page design I always use, I slapped on some  washi tape, (including some triangles which I am now officially obsessed with) and incorporated the Gauche Alchemy Neon Color Kit and the Mutant Robots Kit (for the Alice In Wonderland quote, rabbit, word bubble and pink frame).  I wanted to include some journaling but I ran out of space, so here’s the story:

I had a very elaborate “Alice In Wonderland” theme birthday party planned for my 1 year old daughter.  That should tell you everything about how it went right there.  Elaborate and 1 year old do NOT mix.  The disaster alarm started ringing from the first step – a photoshoot with a handmade tutu and apron set I thought was “adorable”.  Well first of all, she hated the tutu.  She also hated the insane Carmen Miranda flower tiara I made for her (I was the Red Queen for the party but obviously Mad Hatter was a more appropriate choice).  I took Miss Thang out 7 times over the space of 4 weeks to get 1 cute baby smiling at the camera shot.  I didn’t even manage 1!!!  I was shooting with a brand spanking new point and shoot camera on auto.  Ok – straight talk from the chick who wasted 4 years and 60 thousand dollars on a photo degree.  DO NOT SHOOT TODDLERS IN SCRATCHY TUTUS USING AUTO FOCUS!!!!  Learn to use your new camera on manual setting or pay K-Mart to shoot the darned photo for you.  WHY?  Because your adorable kidlet in a tutu will look at the camera and smile for exactly 3 seconds no matter how long you spend trying to shoot.  The rest of the time the child in question will move around – a camera on auto focus will spend all it’s time refocusing and you will slowly go MAD.  But you knew this, didn’t you?

Closeup Word Elements

Journaling – 173 images.  Yup, you read right, 173 images – well, it’s actually around 300 but 173 is my final edit from all 7 shoots.  I SQUEALED when I saw the page from Alice in Wonderland in my Mutant Robots Kit!  It’s one of my all time favorite books and it fit the theme I had been struggling to capture for a while now.  I altered the grey American Crafts Thickers using some acrylic paint, yellow marker and a fine line pen.  The neon yarn is from the Neon Color Kit.  The background paper is my favorite print from Basic Grey’s AWESOME “Out of Print” collection.

Washi Tape Stripes

TRIANGLES AND STRIPES!!!!  LOOOVE!  Washi tape is so great – cut it up and stick it on – that’s all you need to create all kinds of cool patterns on your paper.  My favorite combos are diagonal stripe, grid and lace scallops.

Washi String Color

I don’t know if anyone else does this but I like adding cream or white mist droplets to my photos for a “Bokeh” effect without all the fancy in-camera technical footwork.  It’s easier than trying to get the right amount of “out of focus” and I really don’t like random messy effects digital “Bokeh” filters add to photos.

Graffitti Inspiration

Let me leave you with this quote:  If you are silent, the walls speak. Please do not forget me they plead.

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Don’t you love it when you can take several different Gauche Alchemy Kits, pull elements out of each, and then watch things “fall” into place (especially when you spot THE piece that you need for your project”?  Even if it does take umpteen shots to get the perfect (or not so perfect) shot?  My eyes are crossing just thinking about looking through a camera that many times!  Michelle, you rock!

Until later……………………..
Smiles~
Marilyn

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Swimming With the Gumballs

Hi there! Scraps, here, with a bit of altered art for the home courtesy of Alchemist Misty!

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diy bubble gum machine fish bowl

Misty: I found this idea on the Oh! Crafts blog, via Pinterest.

Supplies Needed:

Terre Cotta pot, with base
Wooden dolls and pins
A round bubble bowl

Instead of spray painting my bubble gum machine, I decided to cover it in a collage of papers from Foreign text for mixed media art and collage. Also instead of using the wooden doll for the handle on the lid I used a little wooden knob I found in the Its All Gravy, Baby! Brown Mixed Media Color Kit. Then I added aqua punchinella around the pot with Mod Podge.

Unfortunately, because of the shape of the pot, I couldn’t put the punchinella on very evenly.  In the end, after the Mod Podge had already dried, I decided I didn’t like the way the punchinella looked and tried ripping it off.  Of course, since it was glued on it wouldn’t come off entirely and left a layer of the punchinella behind.  Luckily, I kind of like the way it looked and decided not to cover it.

punchinella top

From there, I misted the lid and base with color.  Then added trim and gems around the pot, both came from the green with envy color kit. From that same kit I also added some black and green metallic looking flowers towards the top of the pot. Then to top it off I added gold beads from the banana hammock yellow kit, around the lid.

My kids absolutely love these and luckily, they are a lot of fun to make. This particular one holds my son’s betta fish!  Unfortunately, he didn’t like having his picture taken so he’s a little hard to see!

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That looks like such a fun project!

Unfortunately, we’re received news that the fabulous fish bowl might have finally been too fabulous for the family fish. Guess he just couldn’t take all that sparkle.

Photobucket

~~In Memoriam~~
Blue the Betta Fish
~~2009-2012~~

~Scraps~

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