Gauche Alchemy + Paper Issues = TOTAL AWESOMENESS!

Hallooooo out there!  This is Chrissy to let you in on an awesome collaboration we are participating in!  For the next two weeks, the Paper Issues crew is doing an awesome theme that gets you to think outside of your comfort zone and guess who has eight thumbs and is sponsoring! That’s right! We are!  Here are some awesome projects from a few of the Paper Issues gals (and you’ll probably recognize two of them, our own Gauche Mama, Chrissy and our Newsletter Overlord, Lori!

We also have news of an awesome giveaway on the Paper Issues blog and a 30% off coupon code for our very own sweet shop!  For the Paper Issues giveaway, just head on over to Paper Issues and become a follower as well as “like” their Facebook page.  Here’s the awesomeness you’ll be in the running for:

Now for our awesome little coupon offer.  Just go into the Gauche Alchemy shop anytime between now and the 27th to take advantage of the 30% off coupon.  Upon checkout, use coupon code PAPERISSUES2012 to get 30% off your order!  This excludes the ACME Kit subscriptions though.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing mixed media projects over at Paper Issues and we would love it if you linked up your projects with them as well as within our Flickr group!

Cheers!

Chrissy

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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.

blended_paper_collage_background_gesso_image_transfer_1

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. 😛

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 😀

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How to Make a Book from Scrapbook Paper

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share another project from this month’s guest designer, Lenna Young Andrews! She created this awesome book using our Showstoppers Kit and the best part is she gave us a step by step so you can create your own!

Take it away, Lenna!

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Here’s a Gauche instant book!

Handmade Book Using Scrapbook Paper

Take a piece of 12×12 double sided cardstock from the Showstoppers Kit. I picked Basic Grey’s Life of the Party: Popcorn Poppin:

Scrapbook Paper Handmade Book

Score the paper at 3”, 6” and 9” in 2 directions so you end up with (16) 3” squares:

Make a Handmade Book

Cut on the middle score line (the 6” one) just 9” up -so the paper is still intact:

Make an Instant Book

Turn the paper 180 degrees and cut 9” up on both the 3” and 9” score lines:

Book Making Tutorial

Start at one corner and fan fold (back and forth) on the scoring lines you made until the paper is all folded up. Watching this video by Tim Holtz may help you to understand how to do it. This is not hard to create, but I think visual instruction will help:

Making a Book from Scrapbook Paper

Before you do any gluing or taping, your instant book will look something like this:

Instant Book

There are 3 pages which can be made into pocket pages because they are open on one end:

Handmade Book Pocket Pages

I used tissue tape to seal the sides and create the pocket pages of this little book:

Tissue Tape Pocket Pages

I also used Tissue tape for the side binding of the book, but any decorative tape will do:

Tissue Tape Book Binding

You can see the 3 pocket pages and how I cut an slight opening to make it easier to see the contents of the pocket:

Handmade Book Paper Pockets

I used the Tim Holtz Ticket stamp from the kit and StazOn permanent ink to decorate the front cover:

Stamped Book Cover

From the kit I also enjoyed using the “Admit One” tickets, “Questions” Trivia Card, Groucho Marx patch, the yellow feather (in a pocket!) . . . and I cut a heart out of the sequin fabric that was in the kit to embellish the pages. I used various rubber stamps to decorate the pages and tucked some of my own photos of my husband & I on a date into one of the pockets. I hand wrote a few notes and slyly gave this to my husband before sharing it here with you!

Handmade Book Pages

Click for larger view!

Enjoy!

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That is too cool Lenna!!!

Don’t forget to grab your very own Showstoppers Kit in the Gauche Alchemy store! (And throw in some washi tape while you’re at, eh?)

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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Affirmation Inspiration Strikes!

Good morning!  Marilyn here saying Hello from sunny, warm South Louisiana.  Today I have an amazing project to share with you from Alchemist Jo, one of our magnificent designers.  So, without further ado, here she is.  Jo, take it away……..

Inspiration strikes at the strangest times, don’t you find?  Not necessarily when I need it to and usually when I haven’t got a pen or scrap of paper to note it down.  By the time I get home the idea has often gone only to be replaced by a totally useless fact about the number of polar bears left in the world or what type of milk can be put in the freezer  😮  My brain has only so much room and as one thought goes in another gets shoved out!  Anyway, inspiration struck for me when I was paying for my groceries and handed over my loyalty card (loyalty card? Who am I kidding?  I’m loyal to no one hence I’ve got a stack of the darned things stuffed in my handbag).  I keep my loyalty cards on a ring (sent to me by the lovely Suzanne from Privet and Holly).  Keeping the ring in my hand until I got home ensured the idea stayed in my head!

Affirmation Card

I knew I wanted to have some fun with paint, sprays, punchinella, rubber stamps and collage (who doesn’t, eh?!) and decided to create a few different backgrounds on credit card sized cards.

Blank Affirmation Cards

I drew round a loyalty card onto watercolour paper (140lb) because the paper is strong and less prone to buckling.  Once I’d cut them out I smooshed, sprayed, stuck, stamped and painted!  I used loads of different punchinella patterns to create great effects with acrylic paint and sprays.  Gauche Alchemy offer a great punchinella variety pack  to play with.  It’s such FUN!

Note to self: do not use dribbly spray ink bottle when going out for a romantic meal with husband in an hour’s time.  It won’t wash off and apparently having a wife with blue hands is rather a passion killer ;D

Napkin Art

Paper napkin is an easy and effective background, and can be further painted, rubber stamped etc.  The Paper Napkin Art Kit  offers a brilliant variety of colours and styles.

Once I’d finished the backgrounds I added affirmations for me to focus on – some I rubber stamped, others I wrote by hand.  Affirmations allow you to consciously harness the power of positive thinking and direct it to whatever part of your life, body or spirit that needs attention.  I have yet to find one about blue hands.

Punchinella Mask

A couple of coats of Mod Podge or similar will seal and protect the cards.

I used both sides of the cards, so having made 11 cards I ended up with 22 different backgrounds and 22 different affirmations.  I added eyelets and put them on a large book ring, along with a little charm.  You could add ribbons and more charms.  The beauty of this little project is that I can go back and add more cards as I learn new techniques so it’s a techniques sample ring too.

Punchinella Mask Acrylic Paint

I had a blast putting this together but I’d better try and get that blue ink off my hands now……..!

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Awesome Jo!  Now we know what to do with those pocket-full of cards we all carry around. What a wonderful way to make something so useful and life-affirming.

Smiles~
Marilyn

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Mixed Media in Flames

Hi everyone! Maggi here with a new project, brought to you courtesy of Alchemist Misty. She has been on fire lately with her projects and this one is no exception:

Mixed Media Canvas

Misty: I really just wanted to play with my new fire template from the crafters workshop because back when I first started scrapping I couldn’t find anything with flames in stamp or stencil, so I was very excited when they came out with this template. With that said, I designed the canvas around the flames. Once again, I used book pages from the ACME Kit and then lightly painted over it with gesso and some mists.

Then, at the bottom of the page I whipped out the modeling paste and smeared it over the template and misted over it with orange and yellow mists. After deciding that I still wanted a little more dimension to the page I used the template and modeling paste technique again, only this time on cardstock. I then fussy cut around areas of the flames and then add it to the top of the existing flames.

Mixed Media in Flames

After that, I took a red fabric swatch from the Scarlet Fever Red Mixed Media Color Kit and cut out a heart. I took my scissors and made tears into the heart…and eventually applied it to cardstock and covered it with Mod Podge. I decided it wasn’t quite grungy enough for me so I experimented with it by adding crackle accents all over it. Once the crackle was dry I used white paint and distress ink to make the cracks stand out more.

Mixed Media Tattered Heart

Experimenting again, I added embossing around the heart and randomly over the entire canvas and then hoped for the best! Finally, I added the title and some journaling around the heart and called it done! I actually liked it better before the drips of “blood”, but this is the time that using the permanent ink can bite you in the butt! lol

Thanks Misty! Sometimes getting bit in the butt is the best thing! (Creatively speaking, of course) 😛

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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Baby, You’re a Star!

Hi everyone! Maggi here to show off the first project Lenna Young Andrews created with our Showstoppers kit!

Take it away, Lenna!

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Altered Mini Album
I looked through the kit to see what would inspire me and really wanted to work with the long ticket album. I liked how there were other things in the kits that coordinated so nicely with the “ticket” theme –actual ticket stubs, a ticket stamp, show theme papers . . .

Mini Album Cover

The funny cartoon included in the old magazine pages caught my eye and I used the actual album page/cover as a template and cut the cartoon to fit the cover.  I included the words from the cartoon, added one of the ticket stubs from the kit and used a Sea Sponge to sponge brown paint around the edges. As I was doing this it came to me that this should become a photo book and the people in the photos would be the stars. My theme was born!

I took the fibers and a shell button from the kit and used household Goop to adhere them to the cover. Using more of the fiber that came with the kit, I tied additional strands on to my original loop. I dabbed a bit of tacky glue onto the ends to prevent it from fraying. I also chose 4 small gold beads from the kit and used tacky glue to add them to the cover round the shell button.

Found Objects Close Up

I practiced writing with a white Sakura Glaze pen on some of the cartoon magazine page scrap. It worked fine, so I went ahead and ‘cemented’ my theme by writing “baby you’re a star” on the cover. I sponged on Bright Gold Lumiere paint to  compliment the brown paint and when this was dry, sealed the cover with a Gloss spray finish. When that was dry added the 2 Prima flowers.

Covering Mini Album with Paper

I then looked through the nice assortment of scrapbook paper and wallpaper to use to prepare the pages of the album. I cut the pages the same way as the cover with the wooden album page as a guide and used the same paper for both sides of the spread of pages to unify them.  All of the pages are covered with either scrapbook paper or a wallpaper sample from the kit… I used my xyron adhesive to make each page I cut out into a large sticker that I could then place down on the blank album page and burnish it to stick. It worked very well.

Found Objects Mini Album

I started choosing photos for the pages. My husband had just taken a series of photos of me with my new camera and I thought it would be cute to have a photo of me taking pictures of the “stars” in my life: my dogs & my husband. The little strip of film from the kit was just so appropriate! I used it as a border for the first photo of me taking pictures and was amazed to find there was exactly enough to use it as a border for the other 2 photos of me I included!! The xyron came in handing for attaching the film strip pieces too.

Found Objects Mini Album

I attached the photos and film strip with my xyron. On the page with the circles, the wallpaper was too dark to show off the film strip nicely so I backed it with a lighter piece (a trimmed photo border) before xyron-ing the whole thing into the book.

Mixed Media Mini Album

I used tacky glue to add a strip of sequins (kit) under 2 photos and my xyron to attach a section of star punchinella to one page. I added journaling about my pups under their photo and used tacky glue to add rubber stamping a feather to their page!

I added a couple of star rubber stamps to the pages to continue the theme and used a micron pen to write a bit.  I also used a sparkly copper Gelly Roll pen to add emphasis to the names and the stars. I knew the word rubber stamps I had chosen would not show up on the darker papers in my album, so I stamped them with white permanent ink on white paper, ran them through my xyron to make stickers, cut them out and placed them where I wanted!

Mixed Media Stamping

I rubber stamped with permanent ink directly on my photo of my 2 dogs, giving them STAR dog tags! I used a micron pen to draw in collars, made little stickers for their names and added an extra sequin from the kit for a little extra sparkle.

Mixed Media Mini Album Pages

Mixed Media Mini Album Collage

Click for larger view!

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Wonderful album Lenna, the theme you zeroed in on is perfect! Don’t forget to grab your very own Showstoppers Kit in the Gauche Alchemy store!

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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